纽约时报双语:美国该由谁来决定是否发动战争?

美国该由谁来决定是否发动战争?
End the Imperial Presidency
STEPHEN WERTHEIM
2021年8月27日
纽约时报双语:美国该由谁来决定是否发动战争?

Suppose President Biden came before Congress to announce that ending the war in Afghanistan was only the beginning. In recent years, the United States has used force on the ground or conducted strikes from the air in at least nine countries: not only Afghanistan, but also Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. These wars go on in part because one person wages them. Congress has abdicated its constitutional duty to determine whether, where and whom America should fight.

假设拜登总统来到国会,宣布结束阿富汗战争只是个开始。近年来,美国至少对九个国家使用了地面部队或空中打击:不仅仅是在阿富汗,还有伊拉克、肯尼亚、利比亚、马里、巴基斯坦、索马里、叙利亚和也门。这些战争之所以能继续进行,一定程度上是因为这些战争由总统发动。国会已经放弃了决定美国是否应该作战、在哪里以及与谁作战的宪法义务。

Mr. Biden inherited this situation, but he need not perpetuate either the ongoing wars or the legal evasions that enable them. He could tell Congress this: It has six months to issue a formal declaration of the wars it wants to continue, or else the troops (and planes and drones) are coming home.

拜登接手的就是这样的局面,但他不需要延续正在进行的战争或使之得以进行的法律规避。他可以这样告诉国会:给你们六个月的时间,要想让战争继续下去,就需要发出正式的宣战,否则军队(以及飞机和无人机)就要回家了。

Were he to deliver such an ultimatum, Mr. Biden would, in a stroke, usher in a new era of U.S. foreign policy. Of course, the president would be attacked for shirking his responsibility. But the responsibility to declare war rightly belongs to Congress, and if Congress keeps passing the buck, then Mr. Biden, his successor or the voting public ought to insist that it fulfill its obligations. Otherwise, a lone individual will continue to direct the largest military the world has ever seen, while 333 million Americans fight, pay, and mostly watch our wars unfold.

如果拜登发出这样的最后通牒,他将一举开创一个美国外交政策的新时代。当然,总统会遭到攻击,说他推卸责任。但宣战的责任本来就属于国会,如果国会一直推卸责任,那么拜登、他的继任者或者投票的公众就应该要求国会履行义务。不然的话,总统就得一个人继续指挥人类有史以来规模最大的军队,而3.33亿美国人为此战斗、付钱,他们基本只能眼睁睁地看着战争展开。

If this idea sounds revolutionary, the real revolution came when Congress stopped declaring war altogether. For the Framers, the clause giving Congress the power to “declare war” ranked among the Constitution’s key innovations. James Madison considered it the wisest part of the document, because he thought the executive was “the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it.”

如果这个想法听起来是革命性的,那么当国会完全停止宣战时,真正的革命就来了。对于制宪者来说,赋予国会“宣战”权力的条款是宪法的关键创新之一。詹姆斯·麦迪逊(James Madison)认为,这是该法律文件中最明智的部分,因为在他看来,行政部门是“对战争最感兴趣、最容易卷入战争的权力部门”。

Prominent Americans once sought to raise the Constitution’s bar even higher. Following World War I, Representative Louis Ludlow of Indiana wanted to put war powers directly in the hands of the people; he proposed a radical constitutional amendment that would have required the entire country to vote on whether or not to declare war. For years, more than 70 percent of the public supported the measure, but the House of Representatives rejected it by a narrow margin in 1938.

美国历史上的杰出人物曾经试图将宪法的门槛提得更高。第一次世界大战后,印第安纳州众议员路易斯·拉德洛(Louis Ludlow)想将战争权力直接交到人民手中;他提出了一项激进的宪法修正案,要求整个国家就是否宣战进行投票。在很多年的时间里,超过70%的公众都支持该措施,但众议院在1938年以微弱优势将其否决。

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress declared war. It has never done so again. For the next eight decades, the country traveled down a path diametrically opposed to the one Representative Ludlow envisioned. Setting out to police the world, presidents circumvented the congressional constraints once erected to stand in their way. As a result, when pundits cast blame for the chaos in Afghanistan, they debate which presidents to fault most: those who started and extended the war, or those who have sought to bring it to a close. Such finger pointing reinforces one cause not just of this particular disaster, but of the many metastasizing conflicts the country has undertaken since Sept. 11: the purposeful submission of Congress to the imperial presidency.

珍珠港事件发生后,国会宣战。那是它最后一次行使这个责任。在接下来的80年里,这个国家走上了一条与拉德洛议员设想的截然相反的道路。为了维护世界秩序,总统们绕过了曾经碍事的国会限制。因此,当专家们对阿富汗的混乱进行追责时,他们争论的是哪位总统责任最大:是那些发动、延长战争的总统,还是那些试图结束战争的人。这种相互指责不仅进一步证实了这场特殊灾难背后的一个成因,也证实了9·11事件以来这个国家陷入的许多转移性冲突的原因:国会毫不犹豫地服从至高无上的总统。

In 2001, Congress passed an “authorization for use of military force,” an ersatz declaration that allowed the president to use force against any entity “he determines” to have some connection with those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. Representative Barbara Lee of California cast the only vote against the measure. She predicted it would plunge the United States into “an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.” She has been proved right.

2001年,国会通过了“使用武力授权”,这是一种代理宣告,允许总统对任何“他认为”与9·11袭击有关的实体进行武力打击。加州众议员芭芭拉·李(Barbara Lee)投了唯一的反对票。她预言这将使美国陷入“一场既没有退出策略、也没有明确目标的无限战争”。事实证明她是对的。

Congress needs to adopt new standards, building on old ones. Back when Congress formally declared war, as it has done 11 times in history, it named the countries against which it was initiating hostilities. That practice was valuable because it left the United States at peace with the rest of the world; Congress would have to issue another declaration to expand those wars to new adversaries. The 2001 authorization contained no such specificity. It practically invited presidents to do what they’ve done: justify wars against a dizzying array of groups — some of whom we may not know about since the full list remains secret. (In 2002, Congress passed a second authorization of force against Iraq, which the Trump administration invoked last year to justify assassinating a major general of an entirely different country, Qassim Suleimani of Iran.)

国会需要在旧有标准的基础上采取新标准。以往国会正式宣战时(就像它在历史上进行过的11次宣战一样),它会列出将要开展敌对行动的目标国家。这一做法是有价值的,因为它会让美国与世界其他国家保持和平;国会将必须发布另一份宣告,将新的敌人囊括入这些战争。2001年的授权没有包含这样的具体内容。它实际上是在邀请总统们去做他们已经做过的事:证明对眼花缭乱的各色群体发动战争——其中一些我们可能并不知情,因为完整清单依然保密——是正当的。(2002年,国会通过了对伊拉克动武的第二次授权,去年,特朗普政府援引该授权,刺杀了一个身处完全不同国家的少将——伊朗的卡西姆·苏莱曼尼[Qassim Suleimani]。)

If Congress is to be effective in declaring war, it should specify not only the enemy but also the military objective and geographical scope of the conflict. After a stipulated period of time, Congress should have to declare war again or let the war end.

如果国会想让宣战有效力,就不仅要明确敌人,还要明确军事目标和冲突的地理范围。到了规定的时段之后,国会应该再次宣战,或是让战争结束。

This summer, an unlikely trio of Senators advanced a similar proposal. Introduced by Chris Murphy, a Democrat; Mike Lee, a Republican; and Bernie Sanders, an Independent, the National Security Powers Act would tightly define new interventions, sunset authorizations after two years and automatically defund unlawful campaigns. Going further than simply repealing the two authorizations passed after Sept. 11, their new framework would change the very way we go to war — and, hopefully, prevent unnecessary conflicts altogether.

今年夏天,三位看似不可能有交集的参议员带来了一项类似的提案。由民主党人克里斯·墨菲(Chris Murphy)、共和党人迈克·李(Mike Lee)、以及独立人士伯尼·桑德斯(Bernie Sanders)提出的《国家安全权力法案》(National Security Powers Act)将严格定义新的干预措施、两年后的日落授权、以及对非法活动资助的自动撤除。比起简单废除9·11之后通过的两项授权,他们的新框架将改变我们发动战争的方式——以及可能的话,彻底避免不必要的冲突。

Legal procedures are no substitute for shrewd decisions and effective missions. But requiring Congress to choose which wars we fight could make positive outcomes more likely. As it stands, presidencies define war, and war defines presidencies. Lyndon Johnson sent 548,000 troops into Vietnam even though he doubted that they could win, because he believed he would personally be blamed if he stood by while Communists took over. Each of the 535 members of Congress has less to gain through martial glory and less to lose if unfavorable but unstoppable events transpire overseas. And only Congress can impose time limits on conflicts through its declarations, forcing the country to re-evaluate its wars before they become endless.

法律程序不能代替明智决策和有效行动。但要求国会来选择我们打什么仗更有可能产生积极结果。现在的情况是,总统定义战争,战争也定义总统。林登·约翰逊(Lyndon Johnson)向越南派遣了54.8万名士兵,尽管他怀疑他们并不能打赢,只因为他认为如果在共产党接管时袖手旁观,他个人会受到指责。国会的535名议员从军事胜利的荣耀中获得的好处更少,若是海外发生对美不利但又不可阻止的事件,他们的损失也更少。只有国会可以在宣告中对冲突施加时间限制,迫使国家重新评估其战争,以免战争变得永无止境。

A long-supine Congress will not acquire a backbone on its own. Its members clearly prefer to shirk their duty so long as presidents and voters scarcely object. So it’s the rest of the political system that must act to make Congress do its job — by refusing to conduct wars that Congress won’t declare, or by punishing representatives who won’t hold essential votes.

一个长期消极的国会无法自行生出骨气。很明显,只要总统和选民不反对,议员就更倾向于逃避责任。因此,政治体系里的其他分支应该采取行动让国会履行自己的职责——比如拒绝发动国会不肯宣告的战争,或是惩罚不举行必要投票的议员。

Two decades after Sept. 11, many Americans would prefer to put global policing to rest. They should hardly have to depend on the self-restraint of their commander in chief, whether Donald Trump, Joe Biden or whoever comes next. Congress can and should decide whether we go to war. If it did, it might just deliver some peace.

在9·11发生20年后,许多美国人宁愿不再做世界警察。他们不应全然依赖三军统帅的自我克制来实现这点,不管他是唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)、乔·拜登(Joe Biden)还是之后的任何人。国会可以也应该决定我们是否要开战。如果是这样,也许真能带来一些和平。

获取更多英语学习资源可以加入精品外刊QQ群: https://enclub.com/papers/ 精品视听QQ群: https://enclub.com/video/

发表评论

邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注

微信公众号
QQ群