The President and War Powers

When the president chooses to unilaterally (or by himself) use military force in a foreign country, his decision raises important questions about his constitutional authority to do so, congress’s power to check this authority, and the importance of international support. Some people believe that the president’s powers are broad and that he/she should act unilaterally (or by himself) without the consent of congress when there are national security threats. Others disagree with this view, asserting that the president should only act when he/she has the consent of congress. They argue that when hundreds of thousands of American citizen’s lives are placed in harm’s way there should be some deliberation and engagement with the other branches of government.

First, watch the videos and read the articles on the presidency and war. Then, address the following questions.

1a. Should presidents be able to engage in military conflicts without a declaration of war from the United States Congress? If yes then why? If not then why not?

1b. Has the United States Congress abdicated (given up) its responsibility to check the executive branch by authorizing funding for the military to purse these actions? If yes then how so? If not then why not?