I'm happy to see two former secretaries of state take up this issue while presenting a viable alternative. The War Powers Consultation Act of 2009 can help prevent wars and help ensure finger pointing is kept at a minimum after a conflict begins... Here is an excerpt:
A bipartisan group that we led, the National War Powers Commission, has unanimously concluded after a year of study that the law purporting to govern the decision to engage in war — the 1973 War Powers Resolution — should be replaced by a new law that would, except for emergencies, require the president and Congressional leaders to discuss the matter before going to war. Seventy years of polls show that most Americans expect Congress and the president to talk before making that decision, and in most cases, they have done so.After passing this Act, the next step is to require an activation of the selective service system whenever troops are sent to conflict... even if it just calls up one person. This would bring the war home to Main Street USA, force the American public to truly think about their initial support for a conflict, help mitigate the problems associated with America's Achilles' Heel ADD when it comes to armed conflict, and help end the divorce between the military and the civilian population in America.
Congress passed the 1973 resolution in response to the Vietnam War. But it is ineffective at best and unconstitutional at worst. No president has recognized its constitutionality, and Congress has never pressed the issue. Nor has the Supreme Court ever ruled on its constitutionality. In fact, courts have largely shied away from refereeing war-powers disputes between the two political branches.