U.s. National Security Policy

2226 Words Dec 10th, 2014 9 Pages
Congressional Inaction The Constitution grants Congress the power raise and maintain the armed forces, establish rules that govern those forces, and above all – declare war. The Framers of the Constitution intentionally designed Congress to have a collective control over war, thus granting the legislature authroity over offensive campaigns. In comparision, the president, as commander in chief, has the ability to use force to protect American sovergneity and American lives. Consequently, the U.S. national security policy process includes countless opportunities to delay or block action.
Over time, the executive branch began to garner more power than the Framers originally intended. Presidents initially were reticent to ask seek Congressional approval to use force. However, over time, Congress began to cede its Consitutional powers to the executive branch. Former Senator Jim Webb argues that after World War II, the role of Congress in foreign policy atrophied. He attributes the changing nature of war, as well as the immense defense structure, supported by a military-industrial complex, that was established during the Cold War. Congress passed legislation in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, aimed at curbing a president’s ability to use force unchecked. Thus in 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution. The resolution stipulates that the president can only send forces into hostilities for 60 days without Congressional approval. Despite this legislation, there remains…
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