Can the United States legally attack an ally?
These questions should be critical to a public debate over the US military involvement in Ukraine and the Middle East. Sadly, there has been no great debate. The media are mouthing what the CIA is telling them, and only a few websites and podcasts -- my own, "Judging Freedom" on YouTube, among them -- are challenging the government's reckless, immoral, illegal and unconstitutional wars.
Here is the backstory.
All power in the federal government comes from the Constitution and from no other source. Congress, however, has managed to extend its reach beyond the confines of the Constitution domestically by spending money in areas that it cannot regulate and in foreign policy by looking the other way when presidents initiate military violence.
Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war on a nation or group. The last time it did so was to initiate American involvement in World War II. But Congress has given away limited authority to presidents and permitted them to fight undeclared wars, such as President George W. Bush's disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.