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US delcarations of war -- all 5 of them

The US has declared war a whopping 5 times: 1812, Mexico, Spain, WWI, WWII, though some of the latter contain multiple declarations against various countries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States

"Authorized by Congress" include the Barbary Wars, invading Russia, Vietnam, Gulf War, younger Bush's wars. UNSC wars start with Korea and include Bosnia and Libya.

And then "On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress." including Apache wars and the Philippine-American war.

I can see abstractly wanting to enforce "Congress has the power to declare war". OTOH, you're fighting pretty much all of US history, going back to 1798. Plus a lot of people will be fairly suspected of politically opportunistic constitutionalism, or double standards.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/372181.html#comments

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
mcgillianaire
Aug. 30th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
How fascinating, thanks for sharing (as always).

> On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress

Can Congress reverse this decision?
mindstalk
Aug. 30th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
Dunno. One opinion is that it can't just say "don't send troops there" without violating his commander-in-chief powers. OTOH, it controls the purse strings. In practice you'd get "but you're not supporting the troops!"

Someone noted that we've reached a point where the President can't appoint minor executive officials but can bomb people at will. Go go separation of powers.
mcgillianaire
Aug. 30th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
That last point really sums it up. I wonder what the Founding Fathers would have made of the undeclared wars.
mindstalk
Aug. 30th, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC)
Well, they started them! Quasi-War, Barbary Wars -- Adams, Jefferson, Madison.

Jefferson's authority to make the Louisiana Purchase was questionable.
mcgillianaire
Aug. 30th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
Hah. And I suppose there's no way a citizen could bring a case (perhaps in the Supreme Court) to test the constitutionality of undeclared action. So without a global arbiter accepted by America, there's no real way of knowing what exactly is legal, or what isn't.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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