LegBranch Event

Congressional Capacity and Endless War in Afghanistan & Syria

U.S. military personnel invaded Afghanistan almost two decades ago, and the U.S government began supplying aid to Syrian rebels in 2012.

In neither case did Congress use its Article I authority to declare war. In fact, Congress has not declared war since 1942. Instead, presidential administrations have justified their military actions in Afghanistan or Syria. For example, Congress passed an “authorization of the use of military force” (AUMF) in 2001 to permit the Bush administration to use U.S. military resources against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. This sort of presidentially-initiated military intervention is a far cry from what the Founders intended.

Join the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group on November 12 to discuss this constitutionally anomalous situation and congressional capacity over war powers and foreign affairs.


  • Casey Burgat, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Louis Fisher, Scholar in Residence, Constitution Project
  • Anthony Marcum, Resident Fellow, R Street Institute
  • James Wallner, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Elizabeth Goitein, Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice

Policy studies by each speaker are below:

Lunch will be provided as supplies last*

Topics: Oversight
Location: Capitol Visitor Center
CVC 268
Washington, DC
Date: Nov 12, 2019  ·  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm