Accession Number:

ADA276763

Title:

The War Powers Resolution -- A Troubled Past and Uncertain Future

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1993-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

35.0

Abstract:

Perhaps one of the least talked about, yet most controversial, pieces of legislation surrounding the interpretation of the Constitution is the War Powers Resolution. Supporters say the resolution is essential in order to maintain the intent of the Framers of the Constitution to avoid creating an Imperial Presidency i.e., a characterization from European history where ruling monarchs unilaterally waged war for personal as well as political reasons. Critics say its restrictions of Presidential authority as Commander- in-Chief are flagrantly unconstitutional. Still others see the resolution merely as an ineffective political tool with loopholes that allow each Branch to invoke or ignore it as circumstances necessitate. The resolution was developed during the height of the Vietnam conflict and specifies conditions under which the President may commit armed forces to hostilities overseas. It also regulates the process under which the President shall consult with the Congress over the use of armed forces as well as the timeframe forces may remain engaged in hostilities without Congressional action. Yet after twenty years of implementation, the resolution still sparks great debate over its constitutionality, requirements, and effectiveness. This debate centers, not along party lines, but between the Executive and the Legislative Branches of the government.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE