Letters to the Editor

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones: Debate needed for war on ISIS

Thank you for reprinting Doyle McManus’ Dec. 11 column “Obama’s shift in war on ISIS” about President Obama’s decision to put ground troops in Iraq and Syria.

I’ve spent a year urging former House Speaker John Boehner and current Speaker Paul Ryan to allow a debate in the House over whether pledging to fight ISIS on the ground is the wisest foreign policy for the United States.

Last month, 34 of my colleagues joined me in writing Ryan about this issue. We received no response. Recently, my colleagues joined me again in asking Ryan to allow the House to debate a U.S. ground presence.

I am hoping he will lead the House in fulfilling its constitutional duty to debate matters of war. There is no decision more important for Congress to make than to send a young American to fight and die.

It’s frustrating to both parties that congressional leadership is not addressing Obama’s escalation of the war in Syria and Iraq. McManus is right: The escalation of U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria will continue.

As James Madison wrote: “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.” It’s up to Congress to follow its constitutional duty.

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones

Republican, N.C. District 3