War Powers Resolution Act
Olivia Brasacchio U.S.History Block 4 05/08/12 “A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible” Thomas Hardy.
The purpose of the War Powers Resolution act of 197 3 was to ensure that both Congress and the President share in making decisions that could potentially get the U. S. involved in hostilities or imitate danger. U. S. Presidents have consistently agreed that the War Powers Resolution Act is an unconstitutional violation of the higher powers of the executive branch.
As a result, the Resolution has been the subject of controversy since its enactment in November of 1973, and is a recurring issue due to the ongoing commitment of U. S. armed forces globally. Furthermore, when a U. S. president has failed to secure a congressional declaration of war, this is technically considered an illegal war from a governmental standpoint. When the American people support such war, no matter how just and right they believe it is, they are going against not only their owl principal’s and moral values but their defying the system of government and laws in which the U. S. as been brought up on, better yet their defying the constitution overall. The only way to properly justify this is through the War Powers Resolution itself. Section 4 of the resolution-article (a) subsection (3) states that ‘in the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced…. in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the president shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth. A) The circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces; (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and (b) The President shall provide such other information as the Congress may request in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of United States Armed Forces abroad.
This only occurs if the president deems action necessary which was the purpose of the Golf of Tonkin resolution as well. However, if the president is the commander and chief of the army-then this essentially restricting his powers further-if he must have congress watching over him and approving his every request-which has said to take a fare amount of time, resulting in a possible loss for the U. S. on an important issue or military commitments to other countries.
Moreover, this has played out in recent events from 1993 to 1999, when President Clinton utilized United States armed forces in multiple operations, such as air strikes and the deployment of peacekeeping forces, in Yugoslavia. These operations were identical to the United Nations Security Council resolutions and were conducted in correlation with other members of NATO. During this time President Clinton submitted multiple reports to Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution Act and regulations regarding the involvement of U.
S. forces. However, he never cited section 4(a) (1), which did not trigger the start of the 60 day time limit that should have occurred. Tom Campbell-member of the House of Representatives filed suit in the United States Federal District Court of Colombia, against President Kennedy on allegations that he had violated the War Powers Resolution now that the 60 days had elapsed since the start of military operations in Kosovo. President Kennedy stated that he considered this ‘constitutionally defective’.
In the end the court ruled in favor of the president, saying that members lacked legal standing and evidence to make their case fully plausible. The U. S. Supreme Court then refused to hear an appeal once this decision was made. This one of many examples in U. S. history where the president’s power to engage in military conflict has been questioned and proved unconstitutional regarding problems with War Powers Resolution act.