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The Failure of The War Powers Resolution - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Date: The failure of The War Powers Resolution The War Powers Resolution was a federal law that was intended to check on the presidential powers to place the US into a war or armed conflict, prior to the achievement of the approval from the congress (Barbara, 1994 p26)…
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The Failure of The War Powers Resolution
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Download file to see previous pages The joint resolution only allowed the president to take such an action, on the event that there is a war emergency that the army should respond to. Other instances include, should the US, its territories or its interests be attacked (David & Larry, 1996 p22). As the provision of the law, the president should notify the congress once his intention to place the armed forces into war, within a span of 48 hours. More to this provision is the fact that the armed forces are prohibited from remaining in the war zone abroad for a period exceeding two months. After the expiry of the first two months, the army is granted 30 more days within which all its soldiers and operations should be withdrawn for the territory (Gareth, 2007 p19). Since this joint resolution was passed by majority two thirds of the congress, then the president has no veto powers over the legislation and thus has just to agree with the terms as provided. However, some presidents of the US have superseded these provisions, and engaged in war, without strictly adhering to the legislation, under some circumstances. Notable are the examples of presidents Bill Clinton and Obama, whereby in 1999, Clinton authorized the bombing of Kosovo, in total disregard of these legislative provisions. In 2011, president Obama went ahead and approved to enforce a no-fly zone policy over Libya, as was required by the UN (Dinan, 2006 W6). While President Obama held the view that the legislation did not provide restrictions for such actions, many of the US presidents have also held the same viewpoint, arguing that the legislation is against the US constitution. As per the US constitution, the congress is mandated with the powers of declaring war, supporting the armed forces and also the budget for such wars, and making all the necessary legislations that oversees the execution of such wars. The institution of presidency on the other hand is mandated to lead the armed forces and repel any attack that may face the US (Glen, 2011 p28). As a privilege added to this institution, the president can agree to or reject a declaration of war issued by the congress, as he deems necessary. Therefore, there has been a struggle between the congress and the US presidents on the constitutionality of such provisions, as provided for by The War Powers Resolution. This has seen the provisions undermined by the presidents, through taking such war actions without consulting the congress. Thus, a question arises as to which institution, among the congress, the Supreme Court and the president is responsible for this failure. The failure of The War Powers Resolution can be traced to the side of congress. These failures are both in the way the congress enacted the legislation and in its failure to enforce the enacted law subsequently, where it would be necessary to contain the actions of the presidents (Rumsfeld, 2011 p14). Though some US presidents have totally overruled the provisions of the legislation, there is a possibility that the congress could nave contained such undermining, through their legislative and consequent enforcement powers. Thus, even though the institution of presidency can be blamed for such failures through undermining the requisite laws, the congress bears the greater burden of failure. The major failure of the War Powers Resolution, as a legislation is in its objective, under section 2a, where the law meant to seek a collective judgment in matters pertaining to wars ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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