Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

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Posted by shannonclark on March 24, 2003

The Constitution and the War Power: What Motivates Congressional Behavior

Written in 2001, and still up on Harvard’s website but as a draft, this is a very interesting analysis of the oft quoted line “Congress has to declare war”.

Like so much that becomes “truth”, this is not as simple as people seem to assume. There is a very strong (and in my mind compelling) argument against this position.

In any case, as it regards Iraq, the Congress did pass a resolution (law? not certain what to technically call it) which authorized a nearly blank check in terms of the use of force to overthrow Saddam Hussain (limited to Iraq, the original was to not have specified Iraq) so the arguements of many that this is somehow an “undeclared” war seem at best disingenous.

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