Marque and Reprisal

The Framers of the Constitution, self-evidently Divinely Inspired, wrote the following into that document:
Article I

Section 8

The Congress shall have Power...To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; ...
So not only can (and should) Congress make Rules concerning Captures (i.e. jihadists go directly to Gitmo for coercive interrogation, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 ACLU lawyers), but they can also grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

That Power has not been revoked.

Though the Declaration of Paris of 1856 outlawed such Letters, the United States was not a signatory to that treaty.

What are these Letters?
A Letter of Marque and Reprisal was is [there, I fixed that for you. --RDS] an official warrant or commission from a national government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a party which had committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the issuing nation...

The formal statement of the warrant was to authorize the agent to pass beyond the borders of the nation ("marque", meaning frontier), and there to search, seize, or destroy assets or personnel of the hostile foreign party ("reprisal"), not necessarily a nation...It was considered a retaliatory measure short of a full declaration of war...

A private ship and its captain and crew operating under a letter of marque and reprisal was called a privateer.
Outsourcing and privatization are nothing new.

If Congress granted such Letters, for, say, seizing Iran's oil exports or gasoline imports, to be taken and sold at a profit, any number of private ventures would find the best, most efficient way to do it in no time.

It would add real teeth to any weak "sanctions" that the UN will agree to on a nation-state basis.

Also note the target is "not necessarily a nation."

All this tizzy about our inability to deal with "4th gen" warfare and "non-state actors" as something dreadful and new is total nonsense. It's only a problem for people who think the world didn't really begin until around 1968.

We've got problems with cells of "terrorists"? Just commission cadres of "freedom fighters" to go after them.

There are thousands of Nepalese Gurkhas just itching to take such a job, now that the Brits have cut back on recruitment out of that hellhole. They love taking a shortsword to the enemy even more than Abu does.

That's our Congressman and Senators, letting this vastly powerful yet cheap and simple lever of power rust away, unused and forgotten.

We should remind them.

Article I.

Section 8.

And if they grant such Letters, with a simple majority, there's absolutely nothing the Courts, or the President, or the UN can do about it.

Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

Gimme some!