Constraints on the Commander in Chief role

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  • Created by: Isabella
  • Created on: 25-05-14 20:07
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· Only Congress has the ability to declare war, however this has only
been used five times since 1787- the last time during World War 2.
· Congress can authorise troops for use. However, this is not essential
and these can be manipulated, for example voting on Iraq action just
before the 2002 midterm elections- if members opposed this,
especially so close following 9/11, it could result in them facing
questions over patriotism and loosing their seats
· The War Powers Act of 1973- restricts the President's actions when
going to war- ensures that Congress is notified. However, it is rarely
used to curtail military action
· Congress has the sole power of the purse, which means in theory
they are able to restrict funding to the armed forces for military
pursuits, however this power is rarely used.
· The President can often be reliant on advice on foreign policy, and
can have conflicting advice from within the executive. For example,
Carter had conflicting advise from his Secretary of State and National
Security Adviser on how to deal with the Soviet Union, preventing
him from taking much meaningful action.
· Public opinion can also constrain the President, especially if up re
election again. They do not to get involved with a situation if the
public dislike it and vote them out. For example, Obama was
hesitant to get involved in Syria because of public opinion.


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