Harry Browne Constitutional Peace Amendment

Enforcing Peace

A proposed constitutional amendment to keep the United States government from dragging us into wars:

Section 1. The United States shall be at war only after a declaration of war, naming the specific enemy nations, is approved by the President and by a two-thirds vote of the eligible members in both houses of Congress.

Section 2. The members of the House of Representatives and the Senate eligible to vote on a declaration of war are those who are between the ages of 18 and 35, or who have children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren between those ages.

Section 3. In the absence of a Congressional declaration of war, the President may deploy the military to repel an armed invasion of the United States, but may not deploy troops or engage in hostilities outside the United States.

Section 4. The United States shall enter into no treaty with any nation or organization if such treaty could oblige the United States to be at war without a declaration of war by Congress, and the United States shall not be bound to engage in war by any action taken by any organization of which they are a member.

Section 5. Except in time of war, as specified in Section 1, the United States will provide no weapons or other resources to foreign governments, will engage in no military action outside the borders of the United States, and shall deploy no military personnel or weapons outside the boundaries of the United States except that at any one time up to one thousand members of the military may be outside the United States for no longer than thirty days.

Section 6. Upon any violation of this article by the President, Congress shall institute impeachment proceedings within 14 days.

Sections 3 and 5 don't preclude a missile defense or any other kind of defense of this nation. It requires only that the President wait before attacking a foreign nation until a declaration of war has been issued. Even if some incapacity prevents Congress from making a declaration quickly, America could still defend itself. It just couldn't attack anyone else.

War is too dangerous an enterprise to leave in the hands of people who routinely lie in their own self-interest.

I welcome any suggestions for making this amendment more precise. (My thanks to Arthur Medina for some excellent suggestions, which have been incorporated.)

Copyright 2013 Pamela Wolfe Browne / HarryBrowne.org. All Rights Reserved.