This goes a bit beyond the war powers given Congress by the Constitution:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, will introduce a bill capping troop levels in Iraq as of January 1, and require President Bush to seek Congressional approval before sending additional troops, according to a top Senate aide.
Clinton previewed her position Wednesday on some of the morning shows. This afternoon, at a 3 p.m. news conference on her recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, she will formally unveil her legislation.
There may be some language about specific benchmarks required of the Iraqi government and military, and there may be co-sponsors on this bill, the aide said.
Here’s the pertinent parts of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which lays out the authority Congress has concerning our military and war:
The Congress shall have power… To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
So, basically, Congress is in charge of appropriating funds for the military, writing the rules for the military (codes of conduct, etc.) and declaring/un-declaring war.
Now here’s the President’s war/military powers as per Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;
I think we can get the founder’s thoughts on split of authority over our military in times of war. Congress declares war and funds the military. The President commands the military, including making decisions as to how many troops should be sent where. Hillary Clinton’s legislation simply does not have the authority to restrain the President in prosecuting the war in the fashion she wants it too.
And if there’s ever been stronger evidence to suggest that Democrats don’t want us to win in Iraq than this I have yet to see it. Hamstringing the President’s ability to prosecute the war in this fashion is just nonsense. Clinton is willing to have the troops currently in Iraq fight and die for our mission there, but she’s not willing to send in more troops to back them up so that we can actually complete the mission.
That’s just plain disgusting.