War Powers Act

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Salty, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    The WPA has been in the news lately.

    Do you agree with the law?
    Is some parts good, others bad?

    Thoughts
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I have nof liked if since Day 1. In mg mind it takes away from the president's authority as commander-in-chief and turns military action into a political football no matter who is in power. It makes soldiers pawns in petty political squabbles.

    However, it is the law of the land and the current president has no right to ignore it.
     
  3. ktn4eg

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    Article I Section 8 of the Constitution grants to the Congress the power to declare war. The last time Congress actually declared war was in December, 1941.

    All subsequent US military ventures were initiated as a result of presidential actions.

    Granted, some of them were with the subsequent approval of Congress, but the actions regarding Libya were without any prior congressional approval. The War Powers Act basically codified that part of Article I Section 8.

    Yes, as someone once stated, "War is merely diplomacy by other means," and, yes, there are political implications with any war, but it's inexcusable for any president (Rep or Dem or any other party tag) to ignore the Law of the Land that he took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend."
     
    #3 ktn4eg, Jun 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  4. mandym

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    I do like it. It is a great part of our checks and balances. It effects nothing with regard to the President as Commander-in -Chief. This way on man alone cannot disperse our military. That is way to much power for any one man.
     
  5. poncho

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    Obama doesn't have the power to do anything unless it is granted him from above. I'm not refering to God here I am refering instead to "the corporate-financier oligarchy with financial, media, and industrial empires that span the globe."

    AKA the "international community".

    I expect the congress will make a show but nothing will be done. The congress doesn't have the power to overide the diktats of the "international community" which it now serves.
     
  6. blackbird

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    It prevents US Presidents from doing what Hitler did in those fateful years of Nazism

    First with the Sudentenland---then all of the Czech country----then on to Poland--then on to Hungary, Romania, etc
     
  7. dwmoeller1

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    If the Barbary Wars are any example, the Founding Fathers didn't seem to have any problem with the president using military power w/o declaration of war. These actions were taken under the presidency of the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Father of the Constitution w/o any significant protest from other political leaders of the time.

    And its unclear whether the act is Constitutionally sound. Until a president actively puts the act to a test AND congress does what is needed to defend it, it remains simply an act for Congress to gain power over weak presidents. Stronger presidents have consistently ignored or skirted the act. It will be interesting to see what happens here. Since its a questionable extension of the power of Congress, I have no problem with a president challenging it.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The only real and lasting solution would be an amendment limiting the president's power as commander-in-chief.
     
  9. mandym

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    It is not questionable and if he wants to challenge it he needs to do so by legal means rather than illegal and immoral means.
     
  10. dwmoeller1

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    From a strict constructionist point of view, it certainly is questionable. Congress seems to be taking more power than the Constitution actually gives them. They are given the power to declare war, but there is nothing in the Constitution restricting the use of military force to war. Since the War Powers Act restricts the power of the president beyond what the Constitution does, its constitutionality is therefore questionable. And since it has never been tested before (Congress has inevitably given approval whether they were consulted in advance or agreed with the action), it remains questionable.

    As to legal means...meh. I can agree with you in principle, but then most Presidents have seemed willing to challenge or even ignore its requirements. Reagan himself had at least a couple of military actions ongoing without congressional approval (El Salvador and Nicaragua). Congress just never made an issue out them. So, if one is going to fault Obama, then one needs to be ready to fault other presidents whom they may have liked.
     
  11. Palatka51

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    Thomas Jefferson responded to the Barbary Pirates because they were putting American trade and shipping in jeopardy and among other things, taking hostages. The WPA allows a President to respond to direct threats to the US and its citizens. The action in Libya is not a response to a direct threat.
     
  12. dwmoeller1

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    My comments were directed at the WPA in general, not Libya in particular. Whether Libya is a justified action or not is a different discussion. The comment you responded to was just to show that it was well established early on that there could be military action w/o the need for a declaration of war. Hence, even though the Constitution grants the right to Congress to declare war, this should not be read as a restriction on the right of the president to act militarily outside the realm of declared war.

    Thus, the WPA can be reasonably be seen as Congress unconstitutionally restricting the powers of the President.
     
  13. TomVols

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    Agreed. Well said.
     

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