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The Division Of War Powers

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The Division of War Powers There is a long standing debate in American politics over whether or not the President has unilateral war powers. Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution states that the President will be Commander in Chief of the navy and army and thus has the power to organize and lead military operations. However, the power to declare war officially lies in the hands of Congress based on Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution. This division of war power between the executive and legislative branches seems to have been designed to give the President the power to defend the nation in times of crisis, but also to give some power to Congress in order to ensure that the President does not…show more content…
Yoo argues that the text of the Constitution gives the executive branch broad authoritative power to make war in order to defend the nation (74). Yoo focuses on the differentiation between the phrases “declare war” and “make war” and asserts that the Founding Fathers purposefully did not give Congress sole power to “make war” as they realized that the president was most suited to protect the nation from a sudden attack. He argues that when it comes to a military emergency, the founders knew that authority should rest in one set of hands because one person can make decisions with greater speed and organization than many. He also states that an official declaration of war has more to do with technicalities of international law than with actual military operations, which is why this particular power was designated to Congress. According to Yoo, the founders purposely left the process for making war vague in the Constitution in order to lend necessary flexibility to the complex process of defending the country. John Yoo also discusses the importance of the executive Vesting Clause of the Constitution which states “the executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States.” He argues that the language of this clause implies that the President is to be granted inherent powers
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