Responses For Yhtomit ONLY

Respond to EACH post (4 total) 150 words each and using at least TWO reference sources EACH (not the same ones for each). Write whether or not you agree and why. How informative the post was . etc, THANK YOU




Before assessing the rights of the president to direct the US military into hostilities subjectively, reviewing the design of the federal government is imperative.  There are three branches of the federal government known as the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.  Each has a set of responsibilities or functions that they primarily perform; while none operate completely independently, there are established checks and balances among one another.  Simply put, the US government was intentionally created to be inefficient and time consuming as to avoid excessive power and corruption within a single branch or person.

First the US constitution describes the roles and responsibilities to the federal government.  It’ll show that the US president should have authority to act and perform the role of Commander and Chief over the military.  While the military has been determined to follow the leadership of the executive branch and according to “Article II, section 1 provides that “[t]he executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States” (Miller, 2014, p.61), this shows that the constitution appoints the president as the military leader in two ways, the military is under the executive branch and the president is head of that branch and also the president is the commander and chief of the military.  The constitution clearly assigns the president as the commander of the military.

With the label of inefficiency in mind, it is crucial that a single entity have the right to activity military forces in times of immediate response to protect the American people and its territories.  If the US were to be attacked, time is essential; placing the responsibility onto congress in deciding appropriate protection and response measures is not an effective defense strategy. Recalling that the government has a series of checks and balances in place, it takes a substantial amount of time for congress to convene and decide when compared with one person making a decision.

Maintaining the awareness of avoidance of excessive power, the president having sole authority over the military is a powerful privilege for one to maintain without forgoing corruption.  The framers generation foresaw this issue and placed a counter measure into the constitution, “Constitution vests the two branches [Executive and Legislative (Congress)] with different powers—the President as Commander in Chief, Congress with control over funding and declaring war” (Miller, 2015, p.61).  Funding is the key character, how can the president activity the military without funding?  By reading the US Code Title 50 Chapter 33, the president is given a time frame; the president may initiate military activity into hostility for up to 60 days.  Forty-eight hours after activation, the president must report to congress in writing describing why and under what authority he is acting on.  Congress may extend his 60 day limitation, declare war, or enforce the 60 limitation and deny the president funding for his operations.

The president, as head of the executive branch and commander in chief of the US military should have the right to activate military immediately for defense of American interests.  The responsibility should fall to one person with respect to avoidance of corruption, following the US Code and constitution the obedience to the checks and balance implementation should be adhered to.


“50 U.S. Code § 1543 – Congressional Action.” 50 U.S. Code § 1544. Accessed November 9,           2015


Miller, William, “Is Congress a Dysfunctional Institution?” (Ezra Klein) in the eBook Taking        Sides (2014) on pp. 61



The struggle over the president’s unilateral authority to commit U.S armed forces to foreign conflicts has been going on since the founding of the Republic. The reason for this is because the United States constitution gives the president and congress different responsibilities regarding military actions which are sometimes left up to interpretation.  According to the United States constitution congress has the power to declare war as well as the authority to raise and support armies (Miller, 2014, p60). The president on the other hand serves as the commander-in-chief and is in charge of the armed forces allowing him the authority to initiate military operations without the approval from congress.

When the founding fathers wrote the constitution they entrusted the president with the power of using the armed forces in situations of national emergency. However, several presidents since the time of the founding fathers have been interpreting their war making powers differently and without the threat of a national emergency or congressional approval. For example, when President Truman was in office he sent American armed forces to Korea without the approval of congress or a declaration of war. Since President Harry Truman sent troops into Korea in 1950, legislators have let presidents make the initial decision as to whether military force should be used (Zelizer, 2011). Although congress still remains active in wartime politics it seems as if it no longer declares war.

In this post 9/11 world there have been several political battles debating the limitations of the president’s ability to decide whether or not to use his unilateral war time powers. One such case occurred when strong evidence mounted against the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad after an investigation strongly suggested that he gassed his own people. In this case President Obama issued an ultimatum stating that if the Syrian dictator used chemical weapons and it was proven the U.S would have no choice but to intervene (Ross & Malik, 2015). When it comes to incidences like these the president should be able to use his unilateral powers to commit his armed forces abroad, but only if it was proven that al-Assad used chemical weapons. Overall, today’s war on terrorism can be a slippery slope and it is important for the president and congress not to rush into anymore conflicts unless they have shown to be an immediate threat against the U.S.


1.Miller, William. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Political Issues, 19th Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 2014. VitalBook file.[;vnd.vst.idref=body012] (accessed November 11, 2015).

2.Zelizer, Julian. “War powers belong to Congress and the president.” (accessed November 11, 2015)

3.Ross, Alice and Shiv Malik. “Syrian doctors to show the US evidence of Assad’s use of chemical weapons.” (accessed November 11, 2015).





In this modern age, international threat assessment has changed and evolved significantly from decades past.  Not only must traditional state sponsored threats be a focus of United States defense efforts, the ever increasing threat of non-state actors such as ISIS, and Al-Qaeda must also be a serious consideration.  Because of the evolving and unpredictable nature of these threats, it is more important now than any time in history for the president of the United States to have the power and authority to deploy military resources internationally in defense of America and its interests.

As the nation’s framers clearly intended, the president as the nation’s executive officer is literally the Commander in Chief of the United States military (Miller, Page 62).  The president’s authority to command and deploy military assets has been tested and upheld by federal courts holding that the president does indeed have the constitutional authority to deter or otherwise respond to threats to United States security (Miller, Page 62-63).  Because the United States and its allies face new and developing kinds of threats, it is critically important that the commander in chief has the authority to respond to threats in a manner that is much quicker than congress is able to act.

The authority to utilize military force, also provides the office of the president with significant leverage.  The mere warning of military action can effectively change the behavior of a nation-state or a non-state threat.  Often when the military is used by a president, it is does not result in military engagement at all, but in a threat averted through the credible warning that comes from the president of the United States (Maxman, 2014).

There has been much political discussion and contention on the argument of credibility.  Presidents Clinton and Reagan both made reference to the need to maintain credibility when the use of military force was initiated after warnings were not heeded by international threats (Sitaraman, Page 123).  It is argued that when President Obama may have weakened the credibility of the United States military when he issues a use of military force warning against Syria and did not follow through (Sitarman, Page 127).

In order to effectively protect the security and interests of the United States, the president as chief executive must have the authority to swiftly deploy a military response, and have a willingness to commit to such action if necessary.





-Maxman, Matthew. “The Power to Threaten War.” The Yale Law Journal 123, no. 6 (2014). Accessed November 12, 2015.

-Miller, William. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Political Issues. 19th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014.

-Sitaraman, Ganesh, Credibility and War Powers (January 15, 2014). Harvard Law Review, Vol. 127, No. 123, 2014; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-29. Accessed November 10, 2015 web:




In today’s international area, the president should have unilateral powers to commit armed forces in conflict abroad for a number of reasons. First, in foreign policy making generally, and on issues involving the use of force in particular, this feature of unilateral powers reaps special rewards. However, if presidents had to build broad-based consensus behind every deployment before any military planning could be executed, most undertakings would never get off the ground (APUS n.d., n.p.; Cairo 2006, 213-214). Imagine the president having to explain to members of Congress why events in Afghanistan this month or Syria the next demand military action, and then having to secure the formal consent of a supermajority before any action could be taken (Greenberg and Dratel 2005, 21). Second, the federal government could not possibly keep pace with an increasingly interdependent world in which every region holds strategic interests for the United States (Greenberg and Dratel 2005, 1042). For the reason that presidents, as a practical matter, can unilaterally launch ventures into distant locations without ever having to guide a proposal through a circuitous and uncertain legislative process, they can more effectively manage these responsibilities and take action when congressional deliberations often result in gridlock (Mann and Ornstein 2006, 52; Miller 2014, 86). It is no wonder, then, that in virtually every system of governance, executives (not courts or legislatures) mobilize their nations through wars and foreign crises. At the end of the day, it is their ability to act unilaterally that enables them to do so.  Third, beyond the strategic advantages that unilateral powers impart, presidents also benefit from the substantial information imbalance that characterizes executive-legislative relations (Hamilton 2004, 44). For example, when a conflict erupts abroad, more often than not the president is the first to know, has access to the most accurate and current information about it, and is best situated to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of different courses of action (Cairo 2006, 217). A massive network of national security advisors, an entire intelligence community, and diplomats and ambassadors stationed all over the globe report more or less directly to the president. Consequently, nothing comparable supports members of Congress. For the most part, they count on the president and those within his administration to share information that might bear on contemporary foreign policy debates. In sum, the advantages of unilateral action are significant: they allow the president to move first and move alone (Cairo 2006, 210, 211).



APUS. “Week 2 Congress and the President.” Accessed November 9, 2015.

Cairo, Michael. 2006. Christopher Kelly ed. “The Imperial Presidency Triumphant: War Powers in the Clinton and Bush Administrations.” In Executing the Constitution: Putting the President back into the Constitution. State University of New York Press. Accessed November 9, 2015.

Greenberg, Karen J., and Joshua L. Dratel. 2005. The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib. Cambridge University Press. Accessed November 13, 2015.

Hamilton, Lee. 2004. How Congress Works and Why You Should Care. Indiana University Press. Accessed November 10, 2015.

Mann, Thomas E., and Norman J. Ornstein. 2006. The Broken Branch: How Congress is failing America and how to get back on Track. Oxford University Press. Accessed November 11, 2015.

William, Miller. 2014. “Is Congress a Dysfunctional Institution?” In Taking Sides: Clashing on Political Issues. Accessed November 12, 2015. VitalSource Bookshelf.

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