Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Overstepping Authority

Will someone please show me in the Constitution where it says the Congress runs a war??? It says they declare war, but then it is up to the COMMANDER IN CHIEF to run the war. You would think that wasn't the case, especially with Hillary Clinton and the Dems trying to dictate where and how many troops are to be deployed in the war they voted in favor of.


joe bob said...

The way I see it... According to the US Constitution, the United States is not at war because Congress has not formally passed a declaration of war.

According to the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed one week after 9/11/2001, the President can attack any nation that he determines to have participated in the 9/11 attacks.

Because he decided that Iraq was one of those nations, he can use force against Iraq. To support his position, he asked (and was granted) this authority under AUMF 2002.

In my opinion this has created an open-ended situation in which the President can wage war on any nation, organization, or person, by executive fiat, for as long as he sees fit. I believe this to be a far cry from the vision of the Founding Fathers.

The below text is from wikipedia:

Congress has several powers related to war and the armed forces. Under the War Powers Clause, only Congress may declare war, but in several cases it has, without declaring war, granted the President the authority to engage in military conflicts. Five wars have been declared in American history: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Some historians argue that the legal doctrines and legislation passed during the operations against Pancho Villa constitute a sixth declaration of war. Congress may grant letters of marque and reprisal; such letters are now obsolete. Congress may establish and support the armed forces, but no appropriation may be made for the support of the army may be used for more than two years. This provision was inserted because the Framers feared the establishment of a standing army during peacetime. The provision is moot, however, since now appropriations for all purposes are made annually. Congress may regulate or call forth the state militias, but the states retain the authority to appoint officers and train personnel. Congress also has exclusive power to make rules and regulations governing the land and naval forces. Although the executive branch and the Pentagon have asserted an ever-increasing measure of involvement in this process, the U.S. Supreme Court has often reaffirmed Congress' exclusive hold on this power (e.g. Burns v. Wilson, 346 U.S. 137 (1953)). Congress used this power twice soon after World War II with the enactment of two statutes: the Uniform Code of Military Justice to improve the quality and fairness of court martials and military justice, and the Federal Tort Claims Act which among other rights had allowed military servicepersons to sue for damages until the U.S. Supreme Court repealed that section of the statute in a divisive series of cases, known collectively as the Feres Doctrine.

The War Powers Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-148) limits the power of the President of the United States to wage war without the approval of Congress. The War Powers Act of 1973 is also referred to as the War Powers Resolution (Sec. 1).

The purpose of the War Powers Resolution is to ensure that Congress and the President share in making decisions that may get the U.S. involved in hostilities. Portions of the War Powers Resolution require the President to consult with Congress prior to the start of any hostilities as well as regularly until U.S. armed forces are no longer engaged in hostilities (Sec. 3); and to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities if Congress has not declared war or passed a resolution authorizing the use of force within 60 days (Sec. 5(b)). Following an official request by the President to Congress, the time limit can be extended by an additional 30 days (presumably when "unavoidable military necessity" requires additional action for a safe withdrawal).

Cajun Tiger said...

That's all good infor Joe, but still doesn't give Congress any authority to dictate how many troops the President can send to a war after they authorize the war as they did in Iraq.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

You go Shane, well said!!

joe said...

You are correct that congress authorized the use of military force in Iraq and the President is the Commander in Chief, thus he is in control of the military in an authorized military conflict... but personally, I don't like the open-endedness of the situation and I'm not a big fan of "nation-building." I didn't think that Bush was either, but I guess I was wrong...

for the record... given the choice between bush & kerry today, i'd still choose bush over kerry. but I think that Iraq is a mess, and I don't believe it is going to end well. Not our troops fault... just that there is way too much sectarian violence...