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Chapter 16 AMERICA’S PLACE IN A DANGEROUS WORLD Institutional Focus: The War Powers Resolution © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Background Perception that Executive powers must be curtailed Congress passed the War Powers Resolution (WPR) in 1973 over a presidential veto by Richard Nixon. Placed restrictions on the President’s ability to use military force. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Background Opponents of the resolution contend the President, as Commander in Chief, must possess the right to respond immediately to international threats and attacks on U.S. interests. Consequently, opponents of the resolution believe this legislation may impede presidential powers. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
The 1973 War Powers Resolution Mandates The President is mandated to do the following when deploying military troops without the prior approval of Congress: Section 4 states, the President must report in writing to Congress within 48 hours after deploying troops where hostilities have occurred or are imminent. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
War Powers Resolution Mandates Mandates (continued): Section 5 asserts if Congress does not declare war, offer specific statutory authorization, or vote to continue troop deployment within 60 days, the President has an additional 30 days to withdraw the troops. (Therefore, the President may have “boots on the ground” for a total of 90 days without a formal declaration from Congress). © 2011 Taylor & Francis
War Powers Resolution Mandates Mandates (continued): If Congress passes a concurrent resolution (which the President cannot veto) mandating the removal of the troops, the President must comply. Finally, if Congress does not authorize the continued deployment of American troops (barring they are not prevented from doing so because of foreign attack or insurrection) the President must withdraw the troops. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
WPR in Practice The War Powers Resolution has had very little affect on the actions of the Presidents No President has acknowledged the resolution’s constitutionality. Also, Congress is reluctant to challenge the President because they can only discontinue funding the operation— would be seen as a political maneuver with drastic results. Consequently, many constituents would find this troubling, as the troops would be placed in severe and imminent danger. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
WPR in Practice Events under the Clinton, both Bush, and Obama Administrations Panama, the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq War © 2011 Taylor & Francis
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