I write to call attention to the speech that Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave at Georgetown University recently after her fact-finding trip to Korea and Japan. Sen. Duckworth’s trip has led her to become a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 2047, which would prevent the President of the United States from authorizing a first strike against North Korea without prior approval from Congress. Senator Duckworth raises serious concerns about the United States’ confrontational stance, which flirts with a possible “bloody nose” preventive first strike against North Korea. 

Each country knows little about the other. The United States is currently without a confirmed ambassador to South Korea. Recent incidents in Hawaii and Japan have shown how human or technological error could inadvertently lead to a war that could cost hundreds of thousands of lives in a matter of a few hours. Sen. Duckworth makes a strong case for Congress’ need to re-assume the power to declare war in this situation, and we applaud and are grateful for her stand. 

We encourage Sen. Durbin to join her in becoming a sponsor of SB 2047. We also applaud Reps. Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky and Bobby Rush for their co-sponsorship of the companion House bill introduced by Rep. Mo Khanna of California. 

Ralph Strohl 

Oak Park 

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