The recent actions by this administration, beginning with the months-long intervention in Libya, should give us all grounds for alarm about the potential harm to our constitutional system itself. We are in no sense compelled—or justified—in taking action based on a vote in the United Nations, or as the result of a decision made by a collective security agreement such as NATO when none of its members have been attacked.

I cannot conclusively define the boundaries of a “humanitarian intervention” and neither can anybody else. Where should it apply? Where should it not? Rwanda? Libya? Syria? Venezuela? Some of these endeavors may be justified, some may not. But the most important point to be made is that in our system, no single person should have the power to inject the United States military, and the prestige of our nation, into such circumstances…

Modern circumstances require an adroit approach to the manner in which our foreign policy is being implemented. Legislation I introduced this week requires that the president obtain formal approval by the Congress through an expedited process before introducing military force for “humanitarian interventions,” where the historically acceptable conditions for unilateral action are absent.