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Is the President required to obtain Congressional approval for war?

Asked by: python32
  • Isn't it in the Constitution

    Isn't it in the Constitution that the President to obtain approval for war? You can't left the fate of our country fall on one individual when it comes to something as important as going to war or using limited military strikes. Do the right thing and take a vote on this.

  • According to Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution,

    Congress has the power to declare war.

    The Constitution is the supreme law that all three branches of government must follow, so that there is a balance of power.

    The President's main job is to execute the laws. By declaring war without Congressional approval, the President is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents.

  • Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war.

    As per the Article 1, Section 8, only Congress has the ability to declare war. Admittedly, the president is still allowed to act in the nation's defense, but I believe that absent a direct attack, such justification isn't present. I would argue that the ultimately, the President must go to congress for approval before starting a war, despite the recent (and disturbing) trend towards "limited military action" as opposed to "war".

  • Only congress has the power to declare war.

    Only congress has the power to declare war, Obama only has the power to make an executive order to deploy troops up to two months, afterwards he is legally obligated to appear before congress and ask them to approve and fund the war. It is the system of checks and balances that we set for ourselves.

  • I am a liberal- the answer is yes

    Understand that though some may disagree, Congress is the most direct representation of the people of the American government. This is the reason that the founding fathers made the Legislative branch the first to be blocked out in the constitution and the reason that they gave the sole power of warmongering to the Legislative. Though the president is among many things the chief citizen or principle representative of the people, he is not the people. Congress, the branch closest to the will of the people should be the one to make the decision, and if there is a standstill in Congress, than so be it. That means that there is a divide among the american people over this issue, and a divide means we should not or must not rather act in favor of one side or another.

    Abraham Lincoln- "A house divided cannot stand"

    The american people should unanimously agree or at least a majority, for if not, how could this be for the people?

  • Congressional Power to Declare War http://thepeoplesguidetotheusconstitution.Com/blog/articles/congressional-power-to-declare-war/

    Only Congress can declare War; it is called a "Declared War." But, Presidents can engage in Undeclared Wars.

    With wars continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, let’s step back and take a brief look at the power to fight wars and engage in military action exercised by Congress and U.S. Presidents.

    While the U.S. Congress has issued Declarations of War in five wars over the past couple of hundred years, U.S. Presidents and the U.S Congress have authorized numerous military operations and even “wars” without such Declarations of War by the U.S. Congress. What does the Constitution actually say about this?

    Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution says “The Congress shall have the power … To declare war…”

    Article II, Section 2 says “The president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States…”

    Congress declared war:
    In 1812 against Great Britain (War of 1812)
    In 1846 against Mexico (Mexican-American War)
    In 1898 against Spain (Spanish-American War)
    In 1917 against Germany and Austria-Hungary (World War I)
    In 1941 against Japan, Germany, Italy; in 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania (World War II)

    Undeclared Wars:

    There have been numerous undeclared wars in which the United States was engaged in military operations, but here are a few examples:
    President John Adams asked Congress for legislation to protect American shipping, as American relations with France had deteriorated in 1798 to the point where the French navy had seized more than 300 American commercial ships. This was after the start of the French Revolution and was during a time of war between England and France.

    President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress to pass legislation to protect American commercial ships against pirates from Tripoli in 1802; President James Madison did the same in 1815 against pirates from Algeria; the U.S. Congress authorized President James Monroe to use armed vessels to protect American shipping from pirates in the Caribbean and Latin American waters and he issued the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.

    There were numerous wars fought against Native Americans.
    U.S. Military forces were used numerous times such as Commodore Perry carrying a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan and the opening of Japan to U.S. Trade in 1853-1854; in the Boxer Rebellion in China 1900-1901; wars in Central America, etc.
    Of course, the above list by the Congressional Research service would not include covert operations by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

    After World War II there was a major shift with U.S. Presidents engaging in major “wars” without Congressional Declarations of War: President Harry Truman’s Korean War starting in 1950; and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s and President Nixon’s Vietnam War 1965-1975.

  • Yes, For "War" ... But NOT for "Military Action"!

    The President, according to the War Powers Act of 1973, has the power to move troops but needs Congressional approval to move large numbers & to maintain involvement beyond 60 days. So, the question becomes: Are we discussing a military strike, or war? One can be over, in a matter of hours. The other, as we saw with Vietnam, Afghanistan & Iraq, can last for years!

    Http://www.Nytimes.Com/1984/03/29/world/how-war-powers-act-works.Html

    http://www.Usnews.Com/news/articles/2013/08/30/the-war-powers-act-is-pretty-unclear-about-whether-congress-gets-a-vote-on-syria

    http://www.Loc.Gov/law/help/war-powers.Php

  • Yes he does

    La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la ala ala ala ala ala ala la la la la la al ala he needs to lalalalala lal ala berty had an egg lalalala elmos world nu nu nu nu nu nu nu nu elmos world

  • Obama taking a stand

    Is the president required to obtain congressional approval for war? The answer is yes. As everyone should know that ISIS has killed American civilians and put it on video for all of us to see. The congress needs to realize that in a few years that ISIS might keep attacking America with bombing and kill more people. ISIS is a big treat to the United States so it might take a while before we can go to war. Our president Obama has made many mistakes during being in the office, but what he is doing right now is the act of a true leader. Obama will realize his mistakes and try to do better before his last year in office. We should have been ready for mistakes like this by now. So we should not be so negative about the president. We are proud of our country and terrorist attacking us and kill innocent people then send it to us on video for all of to watch was not right. We will not let ISIS keep doing this so let's hope that our president will plan for a war for a long time.

  • No he dose not need congressional approval

    The only real thing the the president can do is lead the milatary. So no he shouldn't need congressional approval to start war the congress should have no say in what happens in the war. The decision to go to war is the presidents alone to make. In conclusion that's a no

  • No of course not.

    The primary distinction of President is the "Commander and Chief". His only real authority is to command the US military. But Obama is a politician first and a President second, if you study body language watch the speech where he announced his descsion to seek congressional approval, he said and I quote "I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course", at that moment he points to himself with his left hand. The only reason Obama is seeking congressional is to cover his parties ars. Don't get me wrong Republicans are no better anymore, look at what they did with Marco Rubio, they knew there was enough votes to clear the senate so Rubio votes NO as a political chess move for the 2016 presidential run.

  • Yes but what is war?

    The Constitution clearly says that Congress can declare war in Article I. Article II states that the president is the commander in chief of all military.

    But here are some question. What is a "war"? Are all military actions a war? What if a country invaded us? Does the president have to go to Congress in order to authorize military action?

    I think the intent of declaring a war is to mount the entire weight of US military power against a country in order to defeat it, preferably with an unconditional surrender or nearly so. But when the US military went into Panama in order to arrest Manuel Noriega, was that a war? Did Congress have to give consent to make an arrest? What President Reagan struck at Libya in an air attack in 1986 but sent in no troops, what that a war? When President Clinton sent troops into Somalia to relieve starvation and genocide, was that a war?

    It seems to me that arresting Noriega, bombing Libya in retaliation for terror attacks against the USA and using force to bring food to starving people are not wars but certainly within the authority of the President of the United States as the commander in chief of all military forces.

    So again, are all military actions a war and do all actions require congressional approval?

    I will submit that the Constitution does not require such approval for military action and their authority is only to declare what is essentially an all out war. Even if Congress votes on a war, it is up to the president to decide how to prosecute the war, if at all. What happens if Congress declares war and the president says okay, we are at war.... But I am not going to send in any troops under my authority as commander in chief. No part of the Constitution says that Congress can dictate military actions, that is given to the president in Article II.

    To sum it up, it is obvious the Constitution gives Congress the authority to declare a war. It also makes the president the commander and has the authority of how to respond in such a declaration and he also has the authority to use the American to protect our interest at his discretion in any military action short of a war.

    I think this question was proposed for debate due to the current situation about possibly having military strikes in Syria. While I don't usually agree with President Obama, I think that he certainly has the authority as the commander to use the American military at his discretion for limited uses in what he believes to be our interest without having to debate it with Congress.

  • Technically, it's not required

    Really there is no law for the president to gain approval of Congress. Though it would be nice, since Congress is the voice of the American peopel. But in the case of Syria, I don't think we should start a war there. I think it's smart to know what Congress thinks, and it never hurts to know.

  • Not in regards to Syria.

    The president is required to obtain congressional approval to declare war. However, small military campaigns are not considered war and are not a formal declaration of war. As such, he is within his legal rights to attack Syria; it would be nice if he did get congressional approval, and he very well is trying to get it, but he isn't required to in this instance. I assume this is simply a courtesy.

  • Not really, but it would be nice.

    He doesn't need approval at this time, he is really just attempting to create an ideal situation. Congressional approval is preferred, but doesn't have to necessarily be issued in a reasonably dire situation. I'm not entirely up with my American political workings, so that may be incorrect, but to my knowledge he is CinC of all the US military forces as US President.

  • No no no

    No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

  • No he dose not need congressional approval

    The only real thing the the president can do is lead the milatary. So no he shouldn't need congressional approval to start war the congress should have no say in what happens in the war. The decision to go to war is the presidents alone to make. In conclusion that's a no


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GWL-CPA says2013-09-09T14:09:04.997
Who has the power in the US government to declare war?
In: US Government [Edit categories]
Answer:
Answer_=_The_Congress">Answer = The Congress


It is a common mistake to think that the president of the US can declare war. This is incorrect.
According to the U.S. Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war on another sovereign nation.
According to Article I , Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress ...".
The US President, however, has the power to deploy troop in said location.

Not that is the act of declaring war; it is easily circumvented by the President in Undeclared Wars.

There have been numerous undeclared wars in which the United States was engaged in military operations, but here are a few examples:

President John Adams asked Congress for legislation to protect American shipping, as American relations with France had deteriorated in 1798 to the point where the French navy had seized more than 300 American commercial ships. This was after the start of the French Revolution and was during a time of war between England and France.

President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress to pass legislation to protect American commercial ships against pirates from Tripoli in 1802; President James Madison did the same in 1815 against pirates from Algeria; the U.S. Congress authorized President James Monroe to use armed vessels to protect American shipping from pirates in the Caribbean and Latin American waters and he issued the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.

There were numerous wars fought against Native Americans.

U.S. Military forces were used numerous times such as Commodore Perry carrying a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan and the opening of Japan to U.S. Trade in 1853-1854; in the Boxer Rebellion in China 1900-1901; wars in Central America, etc.

Of course, the above list by the Congressional Research service would not include covert operations by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

After World War II there was a major shift with U.S. Presidents engaging in major “wars” without Congressional Declarations of War: President Harry Truman’s Korean War starting in 1950; and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s and President Nixon’s Vietnam War 1965-1975.

A Congressional Research Service report from 2007 states:

But a declaration of war automatically brings into effect a number of statutes that confer special powers on the President and the Executive Branch, especially concerning measures that have domestic effect. A declaration, for instance, activates statutes that empower the President to interdict all trade with the enemy, order manufacturing plants to produce armaments and seize them if they refuse, control transportation systems in order to give the military priority use, and command communications systems to give priority to the military. A declaration triggers the Alien Enemy Act, which gives the President substantial discretionary authority over nationals of an enemy state who are in the United States. It activates special authorities to use electronic surveillance for purposes of gathering foreign intelligence information without a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It automatically extends enlistments in the armed forces until the end of the war, can make the Coast Guard part of the Navy, gives the President substantial discretion over the appointment and reappointment of commanders, and allows the military priority use of the natural resources on the public lands and the continental shelf.Http://www.Fredsakademiet.Dk/tid/1800/1812/us_decleration_of_wars.Pdf

U.S. Congress made an attempt to regain its power “to declare” war with the War Powers Resolution Act of 1973. This bill allows the president to use military force for up to sixty days, with an additional thirty days to permit disengagement.

During the 1980s, members of Congress filed court cases charging that President Reagan violated the War Powers Act by sending military advisers to El Salvador; the invasion of Grenada, military actions in Nicaragua and the Person Gulf. The courts basically said if Congress doesn’t defend its right to declare war, the courts can’t step in to protect that right.


Similarly, members of Congress brought a lawsuit against President George H. W. Bush in 1990 for sending troops to the Persian Gulf. Another suit was brought by twenty-five members of the House of Representatives against President Bill Clinton for military action in Yugoslavia without congressional authorization. The courts gave similar rulings to the 1980s cases.


What has occurred is that basically presidents now have the power to start and conduct wars as they please.
GWL-CPA says2013-09-09T14:10:00.613
Who has the power in the US government to declare war?
In: US Government [Edit categories]
Answer:
Answer_=_The_Congress">Answer = The Congress


It is a common mistake to think that the president of the US can declare war. This is incorrect.
According to the U.S. Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war on another sovereign nation.
According to Article I , Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress ...".
The US President, however, has the power to deploy troop in said location.

Not that is the act of declaring war; it is easily circumvented by the President in Undeclared Wars.

There have been numerous undeclared wars in which the United States was engaged in military operations, but here are a few examples:

President John Adams asked Congress for legislation to protect American shipping, as American relations with France had deteriorated in 1798 to the point where the French navy had seized more than 300 American commercial ships. This was after the start of the French Revolution and was during a time of war between England and France.

President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress to pass legislation to protect American commercial ships against pirates from Tripoli in 1802; President James Madison did the same in 1815 against pirates from Algeria; the U.S. Congress authorized President James Monroe to use armed vessels to protect American shipping from pirates in the Caribbean and Latin American waters and he issued the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.

There were numerous wars fought against Native Americans.

U.S. Military forces were used numerous times such as Commodore Perry carrying a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan and the opening of Japan to U.S. Trade in 1853-1854; in the Boxer Rebellion in China 1900-1901; wars in Central America, etc.

Of course, the above list by the Congressional Research service would not include covert operations by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

After World War II there was a major shift with U.S. Presidents engaging in major “wars” without Congressional Declarations of War: President Harry Truman’s Korean War starting in 1950; and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s and President Nixon’s Vietnam War 1965-1975.

A Congressional Research Service report from 2007 states:

But a declaration of war automatically brings into effect a number of statutes that confer special powers on the President and the Executive Branch, especially concerning measures that have domestic effect. A declaration, for instance, activates statutes that empower the President to interdict all trade with the enemy, order manufacturing plants to produce armaments and seize them if they refuse, control transportation systems in order to give the military priority use, and command communications systems to give priority to the military. A declaration triggers the Alien Enemy Act, which gives the President substantial discretionary authority over nationals of an enemy state who are in the United States. It activates special authorities to use electronic surveillance for purposes of gathering foreign intelligence information without a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It automatically extends enlistments in the armed forces until the end of the war, can make the Coast Guard part of the Navy, gives the President substantial discretion over the appointment and reappointment of commanders, and allows the military priority use of the natural resources on the public lands and the continental shelf.Http://www.Fredsakademiet.Dk/tid/1800/1812/us_decleration_of_wars.Pdf

U.S. Congress made an attempt to regain its power “to declare” war with the War Powers Resolution Act of 1973. This bill allows the president to use military force for up to sixty days, with an additional thirty days to permit disengagement.

During the 1980s, members of Congress filed court cases charging that President Reagan violated the War Powers Act by sending military advisers to El Salvador; the invasion of Grenada, military actions in Nicaragua and the Person Gulf. The courts basically said if Congress doesn’t defend its right to declare war, the courts can’t step in to protect that right.


Similarly, members of Congress brought a lawsuit against President George H. W. Bush in 1990 for sending troops to the Persian Gulf. Another suit was brought by twenty-five members of the House of Representatives against President Bill Clinton for military action in Yugoslavia without congressional authorization. The courts gave similar rulings to the 1980s cases.


What has occurred is that basically presidents now have the power to start and conduct wars as they please.