ForeignPolicyWarPowers - Foreign Policy Patrick T. Brandt...

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Unformatted text preview: Foreign Policy Patrick T. Brandt GOVT 2302 1 POTUS and Congress Shifts of power from the POTUS to Congress do happen. Vietnam War and recent conflicts have enhanced congressional assertiveness. Why? Polarization of Congress and Presidents. Constraints on powers and fiscal matters. These show tradeoffs of democracy and the effectiveness of foreign policy. 2 Sources of conflict Presidents are reactive: deal with short-term crises and individual goals (Clinton v. Bush II). Result is discontinuity, consistent with the Founders' intent. Either POTUS goes it alone or has broad Congressional and public support Compare: Clinton emphasis on "domestic renewal", market democracy, and multilateralism GWB emphasis on terrorists, rogue states, failed states in the 2002 National Security Strategy. 3 Founders saw Congress as having two major powers: Raising and spending revenue War powers Note though that the war powers are also shared with the President who is Commander in Chief. Presidents have been winning and losing battles with Congress over this for over two centuries. 4 Question: How do we go to war (1789-1945)? Declared wars: Authorized conflicts: War of 1812 Mexican-American War, 1846 Spanish-American War, 1898 World War I, 1914 World War II, 1941 Quasi-War with France, 1789 Barbary Wars Indian Wars Whiskey Rebellion 5 Decisions to go to war before World War II were mainly made by Congress. Presidents prosecuted wars that were declared or authorized by Congress. Congress retained some control over war progression via the power of the purse. 6 How we go to war, post World War II Power shifts from Congress to the President. Why? International and regional commitments: Leads to U.S. action in Korea (1950-1953) Vietnam UN Charter Mutual defense treaties NATO Treaty Can / does Congress have a role in these decisions? Or have Presidents usurped all war powers? 7 Congressional Assertions of War Power Congress passed the National Commitments Resolution in 1969 in reaction to secret actions in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 to force Presidents to declare uses of force and answer to Congress. War Powers Resolution though, allows the President to use force without congressional authority. 8 Failure of the War Powers Resolution Why does the War Powers Resolution fail to preserve Congress' power? It was a compromise between the House and Senate. It seeks a compromise between Congress and the President. This is not feasible on a constitutional principle. Ergo, the President has won the power. President Nixon's veto of the Resolution was over ridden by an angry Congress that was about to impeach him for the Watergate scandal. 9 Subsequent Uses of Force Presidential use of force changes since they often ignore the consultation and notification provisions of the War Powers Resolution: Reagan: sending troops to Lebanon (1982), troops to Grenada (1983), bombing of Libya (1986), Iran-Contra (1986). Bush I: troops to Panama (1989), Somalia (1991), Gulf War (1991). Clinton: bombing Iraq, peacekeepers to Haiti, NATO-U.S. force in Bosnia and Yugoslavia, bombing Afghanistan and Sudan Bush II: War in Iraq and Afghanistan 10 Does this violate the Constitution? Presidents tend to seek Congress' support, not authorization or declaration. Congressional resolutions used recently are Presidents GHW Bush and Clinton sought non-binding "sense of Congress" statements. war authorizations from the U.N. and NATO and not from Congress. 11 Should we change the interpretation of war powers and their exercise? Mervin argues that this is probably the case for several reasons. These are based on changes in American society and role in the world: technological innovation end of American isolationism information age 12 Technological Reasons Americans have a more liberal world view and the impact of conflicts is global Little technology change in the first 100 years of the Republic has given way to rapid changes. War is potentially more lethal than before because of WMDs. U.S. foes are in possession of similar technologies. 13 End of Isolationalism Oceans are no longer a barrier to attack. Thus there is not time to deliberate as Congress did in the past. The post 9/11 world requires more rapid responses and more flexibility than a congressional act could accommodate. U.S. is the major superpower and tied to many other nations via trade and defense treaties to which Congress has assented. 14 Information Age Changes Need to act with a single purpose: someone needs to aggregate the complex information needed to go to war. This should be the President(?) Information about war is now global, rapid, and includes more propaganda. Compare coverage of Vietnam with the War in Iraq. Need to weigh and process more complex information. 15 National Security Decisions, Post 1992 Have seen shifts in national security policy in recent presidencies: Clinton: focused on domestic renewal, promoting market democracy, and multilateralism. Bush II (post 9/11): focus on terrorism, rogue states, failed states. Return to unilateralism 16 Other issues often intervene! Recent presidents have also had to deal with Ethnic conflicts Immigration Terrorism Drug trade Economic conflicts / free trade Environmental treaties and agreements 17 Bush's National Security Strategy NSS was publicized in 2002. Came on the heals of the State of the Union address about the "Axis of Evil." Goals: Promote democracy Promote free trade Promote free markets 18 Role of Military in NSS Militarily, the NSS involves two uses of force: Preemption: interruption of foes actions. Prevention: stopping foes before they act. Note that there is not strong consensus on goals or use of force. 19 Where do we go from here? Allowing presidents alone to formulate foreign and national security policy leads to a conflict: On the one hand, Presidents and Congress can be highly responsive to crises and goals. On the other hand, this responsiveness leads to discontinuity because each President is reacting rather than setting a long term course. 20 What can be done? Recognize the Constitution: it fosters President's power in foreign policy. President's powers in foreign policy ebb and flow. They depend on inherent powers of the office and the support of the public. Recognize the outcomes: Presidents who "go it alone" achieve different outcomes than those who build broad consensus and win congressional and public support. 21 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2009 for the course GOVT 2302 taught by Professor Casey,walter during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson.

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