Presidential War Powers

Essay by nikkip120University, Ph.D. March 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.3

Throughout history politicians and scholars alike have hotly debated the interpretation of the United States Constitution. This debate has been going on since the founding of the constitution up to modern day America. One of the more intriguing debates is that of the powers given to the president of the United States in article 2 of the constitution. More specifically, the power given to the president proclaiming him the commander in chief of the United States armed forces. This abundance of power comes with great affect, making the president the ultimate decision maker to decide whether or not to put American troops in harms way. Yes, many times in the past presidents have put troops into hostile and unthinkable environments but for our purposes determining if those decisions were right or wrong bring neither real meaning nor resolve. Our purpose is to determine why or why not that ever so important power should rest solely on the shoulders of the president.

Living in a world that is unpredictable and becoming more dangerous by the day necessitates the need for a leader who can make critical decisions in times of crisis. Fighting the "War on Terror" puts the United States and its allies in the middle of World War 4, (World War 3 was the Cold War in case you missed it) a type of warfare that has no boundaries and the likes of which this country has never experienced. A type of war that requires day to day decisions based on classified information. Some of which would do more harm than good if leaked to the public or even congress. The executive branch and congress have fought long and hard over whom has the constitutional right to put American troops into battle risking American lives. Laws have been passed,