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CONTENTS

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Foreword.

I. Introduction...

II. The International Framework.

A. Unilateral Action.--.

B. Action Under Treaty Obligations.

C. The United Nations Charter..

III. The Constitutional Framework.-

A. The Sharing of Powers Between the President and Congress-

B. Nature of the President's Powers as Commander in Chief ---

C. Nature of the Congressional Power to Declare War----

IV. Precedents in the Use of Forces Beyond the National Boundary.

A. Protection of Lives and Property--

B. Defense Against Invasion or Threats to National Safety

C. Protection of the National Interests of the United States and

Support of United States Foreign Policy --

D. Stationing of United States Forces Abroad in Time of Peace -

V. Limitations on the President's Use of Troops Abroad.

A. Declaration of War..

National emergency-

B. Other Powers of Congress-

Raise and support armies.

Use of the Ready Reserve-

C. The War Powers Resolution.--

VI. Congressional Authorization Without a Declaration of War

A. The Formosa Resolution, 1955.-

B. The Middle East Resolution, 1957.

C. The Cuban Resolution, 1962-

D. The Berlin Resolution, 1962.

E. The "Gulf of Tonkin” Resolution, 1964.

F. Implied Authorizations-

Appendix I-Major U.S. Armed Actions Overseas, With Relevant Con-

gressional Action, 1789–1975..

A. Declared Wars.

B. Other Actions...

Appendix II—Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad,

1789–1975.

Appendix III-Selected Congressional Resolutions.

Troops to Europe---

The Formosa Resolution (repealed).

Middle East Resolution.

Cuban Resolution..

Berlin Resolution.-

Southeast Asia Resolution (repealed) -

National Commitments Resolution..

Sinai Resolution.---

Appendix IV–The War Powers Resolution and Reports Submitted Under

It-..

Humanitarian Relief Effort in South Vietnam.

Evacuation From Cambodia..

Evacuation From South Vietnam..

The Mayaguez Incident..

Appendix V—Bibliography.

I. INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Constitution allocates war powers, as well as foreign policy powers, to both the President and the Congress. However, this allocation was broadly framed, and this lack of precision was an “invitation to struggle” between the two branches. Historically, there has been a failure on the part of both to agree on their respective prerogatives. In recent years, this

failure has stemmed in large part from efforts to avoid impairing the effectiveness of the United States during sudden crises or in its relations with authoritarian governments. Moreover, the Courts have hestitated to pass judgment on a question which they have considered to be a political, rather than a legal one.

While there has often been controversy in the past in regard to exercise of the war powers, recently the dispute over one of the most crucial aspects of the question, the sending of troops abroad, has reached a new dimension. The evolution of greater U.S. involvement in world affairs, as well as the inherent dangers of war in the nuclear age, are factors which must be considered in this controversy.

Twice since the end of the Second World War, first in Korea and then in Indochina, the United States has been heavily engaged in armed conflicts abroad. On other occasions, Amerian troops have been sent to foreign countries in times of crisis, for example, to Lebanon in 1958 and the Dominician Republic in 1965. Additional critical situations, including the confrontation in the Formosa Straits in 1955, the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and the seizure of the Mayaguez in 1975 have been met by a use of American military forces. Through most of this period, even when there was no particular emergency, large numbers of American servicemen have been stationed in other countries in support of United States foreign policy, and weapons have been poised in the United States and abroad to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack. All of these situations carried the risk of involving the nation in war.

In several instances, including the conflict in Korea in 1950, the dispatch of troops to Europe in 1951, the escalation of warfare in Vietnam in 1965, and the entrance into Cambodia in 1970, there have been great debates on procedures by which the United States Armed Forces have been sent abroad. The question was also extensively debated in connection with the passage of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. This study will examine some of the constitutional issues brought to light in those debates. It is not intended to be a discussion of the merits of the policies themselves.

One fundamental issue is whether the President, particularly in his role as Commander in Chief, has the constitutional power to send troops abroad without congressional authorization. Are there some instances in which the President does have the right to send troops abroad and others in which he does not? Closely connected is the question of the meaning of the congressional power to declare war, and whether congressional authorization for sending troops to fight abroad either by a declaration of war or by some other act, is required. A third issue involved is the extent to which Congress can limit the President's use of armed forces in instances when congressional authorization has not been obtained.

II. THE INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK

Often in recent years, the delineation of the executive and legislative roles in sending troops abroad has become more confused because of the additional issues of international law involved. Most questions of the international legality of specific United States actions are outside the scope of this study. However, in many instances the war powers of the President and the Congress affect those procedures by which the United States must determine and meet its international obligations. Therefore, a brief summary of the international legal framework within which the United States must operate will be described.

A. UNILATERAL ACTION

The United States, as a sovereign nation, can act to protect its interests as it views them by whatever means it determines, subject to the law of nations, the self-imposed limitations of treaty obligations such as the United Nations Charter, and domestic constitutional or statutory prohibitions.

A relationship between the spheres of international and constitutional law was described by Mr. Justice Sutherland in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation:

Neither the Constitution nor the laws passed in pursuance of it have any force in foreign territory unless in respect of our own citizens; and operations of the nation in such territory must be governed by treaties, international compacts and understandings, and the principles of international law. As a member of the family of nations, the right and power of the United States in that field are equal to the right and power of the other members of the international family. Otherwise, the United States is not completely sovereign.'

B. ACTION UNDER TREATY OBLIGATIONS

Because they might impose an obligation to use U.S. Armed Forces abroad, treaties are relevant to the exercise of the war powers in two respects. First, initial adoption of such a treaty obligation requires joint approval by the President and the Senate, that is, a measure of legislative-executive cooperation. Second, subsequent fulfillment of such an obligation can lead to either cooperation or conflict between the President and the Congress in the exercise of their respective war powers. Although executive agreements may also be a source of international obligation, the issue of their use in place of treaties will not be discussed in this study.

Article VI of the United States Constitution provides that the Constitution, laws of the United States, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. The provisions of a treaty may establish a legal basis for certain actions which would not exist in the absence of that treaty or specific legislation.

1 299 U.S. 304, 318 (1936).

* * *

Frequently treaty provisions are not self-executing and require legislation to enable the United States to carry out its part. In such cases Congress plays a major role in determining the manner in which a treaty is to be interpreted and carried out by the United States,

Congress may also exercise its legislative power so as to nullify or supersede a treaty obligation. Chief Justice Taft, in his decision of 1923 as sole arbitrator between Great Britain and Costa Rica, made the point:

a treaty may repeal a statute, and a statute may repeal a treaty. The Supreme Court cannot under the Constitution recognize and enforce rights accruing to aliens under a treaty which Congress has repealed by statute.?

Even though Congress may by legislative act nullify and supersede a treaty, the international obligation of the United States under the treaty is not thereby terminated. Judge John Bassett Moore, discussing a case involving an act of Congress contrary to provisions of an earlier treaty, says:

It was held that the act of October 1, 1888, was a constitutional exercise of legislative power, and that, so far as it conflicted with existing treaties, it operated to that extent to abrogate them as part of the municipal law of the United States though it could not have the effect of destroying their international obligation.8

Secretary of State Hughes elaborated the point in a memorandum of February 19, 1923, to Secretary of the Treasury Mellon as follows:

a judicial determination that an act of Congress is to prevail over a treaty does not relieve the Government of the United States of the obligations established by a treaty. The distinction is often ignored between a rule of domestic law, which is established by our legislative and judicial decisions and may be inconsistent with an existing treaty, and the international obligation which a treaty establishes. When this obligation is not performed, a claim will inevitably be made to which the existence of merely domestic legislation does not constitute a defense; and, if the claim seems to be well founded and other methods of settlement have not been availed of, the usual recourse is an arbitration in which international rules of action and obligations would be the subject of consideration.'

Treaty provisions might obligate the United States to take armed action against other states. While this country has never promised by treaty to go to war automatically in specific circumstances, it has entered into formal engagements that might conceivably result in the use of American forces in war or other armed hostilities. Whether a treaty, such as the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), obligates the United States to take armed or other action in specific situations is not the issue in the problem of determining executive and legislative powers in sending troops abroad. The issue is what role each branch

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2 5 Hackworth, Digest of International Law, p. 195.

Moore, Digest of International Law, p. 367, discussing the Chinese Exclusion case, 130 U.S. 581 (1899).

4 Hackworth, op. cit., pp. 194-195.

5 The North Atlantic Treaty, signed April_4, 1949, states "the parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and each of them

will assist the

attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary including the use of armed force.

The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, signed September 2, 1947, states that an armed attack against any American State "shall be considered as an attack against all the American States and ... each one ... undertakes to assist in meeting the attack."

In the ANZUS Treaty with Australia and New Zealand, signed September 1, 1951, the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty signed September 8, 1954, and bilateral security treaties with the Philippines (August 30, 1951), Japan (January 19, 1960), the Republic of Korea (October 1, 1953), and the Republic of China (December 2, 1954), each party "recognizes” that an armed attack in the specified area would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.

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