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History As It Happens

Jan 17, 2023

For all the legitimate concern about the fate of American democracy and our governing institutions, relatively little attention is paid to Congress' inability or unwillingness to check the war powers of the "imperial presidency." The War Powers Resolution of 1973, passed in the aftermath of the Johnson and Nixon administrations' abuses during the Vietnam War, was supposed to empower Congress to end endless wars, but a half century later we can see that the U.S. still intervened in many crises often with disastrous consequences. And the most recent attempt to use the war powers ended in failure, when Senator Bernie Sanders withdrew his resolution to stop U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's cruel war in Yemen, which has left thousands of civilians dead while producing an epic humanitarian crisis. In this episode, historians Jeremi Suri and Jeffrey Engel reveal the reasons why the War Powers Resolution has never been used to end a U.S. military adventure, and what might be done to end "endless American war".