George Will on John McCain

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It's a good thing that Americans are war weary, says George Will: John McCain's never-ending war.

What kind of people would they be if they were not? U.S. involvement in the Second World War lasted 1,346 days. U.S. fighting in Afghanistan reached that milestone six years ago (June 14, 2005). America is fighting there, in Iraq, in western Pakistan, in Yemen and in Libya. Where next? Under the McCain Doctrine, wherever U.S. "values" are affronted -- and those who demur from this global crusade are isolationists, akin to those who, 70 years ago, thought broad oceans and placid neighbors guaranteed America's security from Hitler and Japan.

Will mentions Jim Webb's speech bitterly criticising the administration on Libya. That is also well worth reading.

The issue in play here is not simply whether the President should ask the Congress for a declaration of war, nor is it wholly about whether the President has violated the edicts of the War Powers Act, which in my view he clearly has.  The issue for us to consider is whether a President--any President--can unilaterally begin, and continue, a military campaign for reasons that he alone has defined as meeting the demanding standards of a vital national interest worthy of risking American lives and expending billions of dollars of our taxpayers' money.

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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