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Sunday, December 09, 2012

'End the War on Terror and Save Billions'

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End the war on terror and save billions, by Fareed Zakaria: As we debate whether the two parties can ever come together and get things done, here’s something President Obama could probably do by himself that would be a signal accomplishment of his presidency: End the war on terror. ...
For 11 years, the United States has been operating under emergency wartime powers granted under the 2001 “Authorization for Use of Military Force.” That is a longer period than the country spent fighting the Civil War, World War I and World War II combined. It grants the president and the federal government extraordinary authorities at home and abroad, effectively suspends civil liberties for anyone the government deems an enemy and keeps us on a permanent war footing in all kinds of ways. ... Phasing out or modifying these emergency powers should be something that would appeal to both left and right. ...
If you want to know why we’re in such a deep budgetary hole, one large piece of it is that we have spent around $2 trillion on foreign wars in the past decade. ... The ... U.S. government has built 33 new complexes for the intelligence bureaucracies alone. The Department of Homeland Security employs 230,000 people. ...
Of course there are real threats out there... But we have done this before, and we can do so in the future under more normal circumstances. ...
In any event, it is a good idea that the United States find a way to conduct its anti-terrorism campaigns within a more normal legal framework, rather than rely on blanket wartime authority granted in a panic after Sept. 11.
No president wants to give up power. But this one is uniquely positioned to begin a serious conversation about a path out of permanent war.

    Posted by on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 10:59 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Terrorism | Permalink  Comments (28)

          


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