• Who Decides if the U.S. Should Wage War?

    Pages: 4

    A 4 page overview of the question of whether the power to wage war lies with the U.S. Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch. The author describes the conditions under which the President can involve our troops in foreign engagements prior to Congressional approval. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

    File: AM2_PPpolWar.rtf

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    the U.S. should wage war" demands a complex answer. The answer must be based, in part, on a review of Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.  Shafritz and Russell (2005, p. 38) contend that this section "unambiguously gives Congress the authority to declare war". As these authors are quick to point out, however, the President  of the United States has the ability to commit our military to wartime actions as well (Shafritz and Russell, 2005). The President is, after all, the commander in chief  of our military. That it is well within his duties to send our military into war is demonstrated at numerous points of U.S. history. Numerous U.S. presidents, in  fact, have sent our military off to war previous, or even in leau of, Congressional authorization (Shafritz and Russell, 2005). Our recent involvement in Iraq provides a particularly interesting  example. Our recent actions in Iraq have once again raised the question of exactly how much power the president of the United States  in terms of being able to send troops to a foreign country. Unlike in Great Britain where the Prime minister has to have the approval of Parliament to commit  troops to a foreign country, the President of the United States does have a certain latitude in terms of being able to commit our troops. That latitude, however, is  governed by a number of legislative provisions. The presidency of the United States falls under the executive branch of our government,  that branch of government which most often takes the initiative in shaping foreign policy. It is this branch which is considered to represent the entire government in regard to 

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