War Powers, Congress and the President

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George Bush wants to go to war with Iraq. That seems clear. But the question rises again: Does the President have the power? Article I Section 8 Clause 11 of the Constitution clearly states, Congress has the power to declare war. But for the last 50 years, presidents have sought to bypass Capitol Hill, touting their own constitutional credentials as commanders-in-chief.

Think debates over Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, and other actions in between, it’s two branches of government skirmishing over who sends American soldiers, sailors, and flyers into battle. And now again, a White House says it does not legally need Congress’s clearance before tackling Iraq.

The balance, the tug-of-war, over the power to make war.


Michael Glennon, professor of international law at Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Stuart Gerson, former assistant attorney general for the United States

U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)