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Congress owes the American people a war debate

• By Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and

We've lost thousands of service members in these conflicts. We've spent trillions of dollars. And it's clear that despite our best efforts—and the valor of our men and women in uniform—there is no viable military solution to these wars.

While our progress has stalled, our military footprint has expanded—dramatically. Sixteen years after the "war on terrorism" began, we are locked in deadly quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, creeping toward all-out war in Syria, and assisting in military conflicts in Yemen, Libya and Somalia. And as the tragic ambush in Niger showed us, Congress has been left in the dark about many of our operations.

This is not what our Founding Fathers intended. The Constitution is clear: Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war. Yet Congress has abdicated this responsibility for more than a decade. I

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