War: Who Can Declare It? Essay

1050 Words 5 Pages
If you are looking in the United States Constitution to find where it says the president has the power to declare war, you might be looking for a while. Those words were never written in the Constitution. The Constitution states that Congress has the power to declare war, “power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules about captures on land or sea” (U.S. Constitution). Nevertheless, the last time Congress declared war was 1941 (WWII). I guess that is congressional acquiescence. We have been in several wars and conflicts since then. Who has “declared” or entered the United States into these wars? The president. September 11, 2001 was a tragic event, which never will be forgotten and changed the lives of …show more content…
While many of Bush's actions appear within his authority as commander-in-chief, some unilateral decisions regarding prosecutions of terror suspects appear in conflict with existing laws” ( ). According to the Bush administration their actions were warranted due to the rare threat of terrorism towards the United States. Consequently, they felt as though they could combat a treacherous enemy by stretching the powers of the president. Because the war on terror is so fluid it is making congress think of ways to gain their constitutional power back. “The administration says the unusual nature of the terrorist threat justifies the aggressive stance, arguing it needs maximum flexibility to confront a dangerous enemy. But given the open-ended nature of the war on terrorism, many lawmakers are contemplating how to regain institutional clout” ( ). The Constitution clearly creates a separation of powers to stop the president from going off on foreign escapades without the express consent of congress. The Iraq discussion echoed the tense state of relations between the Bush administration and Congress since the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The administration has used the threat of terrorism and even less specific challenges to U.S. interests to try to exercise a brand of power seen during World War II and the Cold War. The administration also pressed lawmakers for

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