The US military has become a personal mercenary force for the Executive branch of the US government. Diplomacy is so much easier at the point of lazer-guided missile.
The US House, fecklessness personified, has been afforded the ultimate constitutional check on Executive empire building. It holds the purse strings. Nothing gets funded without its approval. And today, it approved funding for the Libyan operation, though it made a meaningless gesture of refusing to approve the operation pursuant the War Powers Resolution.
So the House disapproves of the Libyan operation, but provides the funding necessary to keep it going. The US House of Representatives is bi-polar.
It is often observed that in a democracy, concentrated special interests can exercise power well out of proportion to the size of their constituencies. Diffuse interests are routinely ignored for the well-organized and well-funded special interests. Indeed, the diffuse interests of Congress, each member only taking care to do what is necessary for reelection, are easily trumped by the Executive, that takes special interest in being able to use the military for diplomacy by other means.
This is why truthfully the only question that matters in deciding upon whom to elect as the Chief Executive is what their foreign policy initiatives might be. Of course, Obama gave every indication as a senator that he would be far less adventurous militarily than was his predecessor. His views have apparently now changed. Taking a measure of his and his Administrations actions, not their words, Obama has yet to see a military adventure that wasn’t worthy of US participation. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, etc., all are worthy objects of everything from outright occupation, to occupation via air-superiority, to occupation through drone strikes and intelligence gathering.
Yet, at home, he is as enamored with the efficacy of government to manage the daily lives of Americans as he is with the efficacy of Navy Seal teams to assassinate enemies abroad.
Obama is a libertarian’s worst nightmare. For Obama, there is nothing, at home or abroad, that can’t be made a bit better if only a few freedoms are sacrificed for the common good. Government is always the answer, never the problem. The purpose of the individual is to serve the State. The State is the source of all meaning for the individual. This is all so Hegelian*. Hasn’t it been disastrously tried again and again? From Fascist Germany to Communist China, it should by now be resolutely clear that human beings aren’t equable with ants in a colony, and any government that attempts to nominate itself queen of the colony will soon enough meet a dismal, disastrous, end.
*Hegel, the German idealist philosophy of the early 19th century (1770-1831), who laid the philosophical foundation for the unification of Germany and its subsequent empire-building, ultimately culminating in German Fascism that killed countless millions in World War Two, did not believe Germany to be the ultimate expression of the State, and thereby of mankind. Though he idolized and glorified Germany and believed it to presently be carrying the torch for the human Spirit, Hegel believed a different State would one day be lay claim to the final embodiement of the Absolute Idea, the Spirit of mankind in his loftiest expression. Whom did Hegel pick? Indeed, the United States of America. But he believed that it would require America to be separated in classes, and for a heroic leader to emerge to accept the torch of human leadership on behalf of the American State from his beloved Germany. Nostradamus ain’t got nothing on Hegel. I imagine America’s leadership will turn out about as well as did Germany’s.