Declaring War on "Islamist Extremism" Is Nonsense

June 20, 2016 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Skeptics Tags: 9/11U.S. CongressWar On Terror

Declaring War on "Islamist Extremism" Is Nonsense

What matters is not whether a group is Islamist, but whether it endangers America.

Instead, Congress should approve future military action only when Washington has no alternative course to protect America—its territory, people or constitutional liberties. The Founders wanted to restrain militaristic executives. They did not view war as just another policy option, but something to be avoided if at all possible. Wrote James Madison: “Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” If anything, that is truer today than when America was founded.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. A graduate of Stanford Law School, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

Image via U.S. Department of Defense, public domain.