POL326Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: War Powers Resolution, Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt Corollary

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14 Dec 2016
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House Whip: tries to count votes and understand how reps vote; keeps track of favours and uses that
information to advance his/her own agenda; Johnson treatment: using favours to rally support or
intimidate;
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- President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, however, the funding controlled by
Congress; can receive ambassadors but with consent of Senate;
- Textbook argument: separation of powers somewhat of misnomer; to better way to understand
it, it is a system of institution sharing power; it is clear that framers wanted the powers of
executive checked by Congress; what is the extent of that restraint in engaging in foreign policy
without the consent of Congress;
- Obv aspect: War powers; intent of framers, president not seen authorized to engage in warfare
without the cooperation of Congress; how much of a check is that in reality?
- One partial answer: historical answer; a good indication that it is not, was offered by Teddy
Roosevelt; became president because of American-Spanish War; speak softly but carry a big
stick; however, given that commitment, he was keen to demonstrate American might in
international affairs; his war-hero status, an indicator of rise of America in defeating a Western
Europe, namely Spain; as such, he believed that America should be at par With BG and France;
how did GB and France did it, they projected through colonization; America demonstrated its
power through colonization of Pacific region; Roosevelt suggested, America send American navy
around the world; but he needed funding; went to Congress, and Congress rejected that;
Roosevelt asked navy how far the navy could do it without funding from Congress; their funding
enough to send to Philippines; once in Philippines, Congress to fund it to be brought back;
Congress did as such, but with implications;
- Different in actual conflict; Congress to deny funding to the president a major problem to
America and its reputation overseas; i paper looks good to urtail presidet’s poer, ut i
realit does’t ork that a;
- Textbook: Congress declared war in its history on 5 occasion but America has fought over 200
times; that undermines the idea that FP subject to checks and balances;
- HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
o Vast majority of those deployments relatively small in nature;
o US MARINE CORP: created primarily to protect American embassies in foreign
territories;
o Other branches: Officer Corp; relied on rapid mobilization of troops prior and
demobilization after;
o Marines as permanent, created possiblility to involved them in minor engagements;
o Gun-boat diplomacy: Latin America and Carribbean; for collecting debt repayments;
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- Justified in Roosevelt Corollary of Monroe Doctrine;
- Corollary: repsonsiblity of US as regional hegemon that the behaviour of states in Western
Hemisphere to invite foreign intervention;
- Britain as international creditor: Venezuela incurred large debt and ended up with conflict with
Britain; US intervened on the pretext that if US did not, Britain would, and that would violate
Monroe Doctrine;
- Essentially these kinds of small scale military interventions in Western Hemisphere did not get
Congressional authorization;
- Problem became severe in 20th century; the very idea of Congress authorization of military
action fairly easy to justify in the period of writing the documents in 18th century; any threat at
that time came from Europe; as such, they had time to respond;
- That changes in 20th century, as threats emerge much more daunting and needed immediate
responses;
- Cogressional elites in agreement with this problem;
- Up until WWII based on minute-man-forces;
- WWII problematic; end of it did not result in demobilization of US forces; by 1947 evident that
WWII replaced by Cold War; in that context, US could not demobilize; would have to maintain
permanent military; 1947, National Security Act of 1947 creating Defense Department; that
meant, the check on the use of military by president further undermined;
- All of this came to a head in the context of Vietnam War; Congress did not declare war but
passed an authorization to engage in military response; Tonkin Resolution;
- US claimed that on two occasions Vietnam had attacked US ships on the Bay of Tonkin;
- Authorized president Johnson to take measures to response; not a declaration of war;
- It lead to Vietnam War; consequently, Congress in the 1970s decided to try to modernize checks
and blances by passing the War Powers Resolution; passed by both Houses in 1974; vetoed by
President Ford; but was then repassed with a 2/3 majority;
- It clarifies the relationship between executive and legislative; arrangement in Constitution no
longer viable; President had to respond immediately; however, that had to be balanced by some
kind of a check; president authorized but had to inform Congress within 24 hours and has to get
approal of Cogress ithi 60 das; if he does’t get that, has additioal 0 days to withdraw
those forces;
- Did that settle the matter? NO;
- / ajorit approal of this idiates it ould’t work; violates Constitution as well; but never
has come to courts; never has been tested; notable exception: Libya;
- Has also spurred a debate whether this resolution has weakened or strengthened the president;
- Prior to it, implied nature rested with Congress; as such it has strengthened the president;
- Tedd Rooseelt’s eaple deostrates that it has eakeed;
- However, Congress would not undermine its president and tarnish American reputation;
- Gadhafi overthrow example: UN resolution authroized operations to protection; but not regime
change; BUT regime change occurred and lead to the current chaos;
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