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NPR Piece on Congress, White House & Libya Quotes Lee Hamilton '52

June 18, 2011

98195June 18, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — An NPR analysis of the debate over U.S. military involvement in Libya includes comments from Lee Hamilton, the veteran statesman and 1952 graduate Of DePauw University. "The War Powers resolution really does not work," says Hamilton of the 1973 federal law requiring Congress to sign off on a president's decision to send armed forces into action abroad. Alan Greenblatt reports, "Instead, the War Powers Act has largely been used as it's being used now -- as a political tool that allows Congress to criticize a president about the prosecution of a war."

The report notes, "The law was passed over the veto of President Richard M. Nixon. The intention was to prevent America from entering into protracted military engagements, as Vietnam had become, without the approval of Congress. The president has 60 days to seek formal approval from Congress after engaging in hostilities, with the possibility of a 30-day extension."

293Hamilton notes, "When the United States makes a decision to go to war, it ought not to be made by one person."

You'll find the complete story at NPR's website.

Now the director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, Lee Hamilton recently wrote of the need for citizens to have good civic skills in a newspaper op-ed. The co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group, Hamilton returned to DePauw on March 15 to address "The U.S. Role in the World After Afghanistan and Iraq" in a Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture.  A summary including video clips can be accessed here.

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