Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

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Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

I don’t even know where to start with this resolution. It’s beyond stupid. The AUMF is a meaningless resolution that is nothing more than a symbol. The POTUS had all the powers outlined in the resolution before it was passed. He’s commander in chief. He can do whatever he wants with the military, with our without congressional approval or declaration of war. The AUMF doesn’t change that. This is a ridiculous topic to debate, and anyone who voted for it should be ashamed.


Authorization for Use of Military Force – This is a U.S. statute and accompanying resolution that were passed in 2001 to authorize the president to use military force against any body he deems was involved in the 9/11 attacks. This includes nations that harbored or enabled the terror plot to happen.


1. The AUMF is symbolic – The AUMF doesn’t extend any additional power to the president that he didn’t already have .The president is the U.S. commander in chief. As such, he is allowed to command military forces to act. In fact, the president has not used military force accompanied by a congressional declaration of war since WWII.

2. Social Contract Theory – Under a legitimate social contract, the governing body ought to hold a monopoly on the use of force. As such, the notion of “too much power” is spurious to begin with. The president should have the authority to deploy and utilize military forces unilaterally as needed.


1. Unilateral military control is dangerous – For anyone to have sole authority or control over how military force is utilized is a dangerous unchecked power. The president should require congressional approval or declaration in order to utilize military force. This will provide a check on the president’s power as well as providing transparency into what actions are being taken.

This topic is abysmal. I wish you the best of luck debating it.

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