War Powers: The President, the Congress, and the Question of War

By Donald L. Westerfield | Go to book overview

Dan Quayle, president of the Senate, regarding his report to Congress on the national emergency caused by the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, wrote as follows: 21

8. The invasion of Kuwait and the continuing illegal occupation of that country by Saddam Hussein continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The United States remains committed to a multilateral resolution of this crisis through its actions implementing the binding decisions of the United Nations Security Council with respect to Iraq and Kuwait. I shall continue to exercise the powers at my disposal to apply economic sanctions against Iraq and occupied Kuwait as long as these measures are appropriate, . . .

Twelve days after the above letter was transmitted to the congressional leaders, President Bush addressed the nation at 10 p.m. in the Briefing Room of the White House over both radio and television with the following message (excerpts): 22

Regrettably, the noon deadline passed without the agreement of the Government of Iraq to meet demands of United Nations Security Council Resolution 660, as set forth in the specific terms spelled out by the coalition to withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait. . . . I have therefore directed General Norman Schwarzkopf, in conjunction with coalition forces, to use all forces available including ground forces to eject the Iraqi army from Kuwait."

In view of the almost certain offensive measures anticipated to be taken by U.S. armed forces and given the events since August 2, 1990, should the War Powers Resolution have been triggered at any time before or after the letter to Congress?


NOTES
1.
U.S. Department of State, Bulletin XI, Washington, October 7, 1944.
2.
U.S. Department of State, Charter of the United Nations ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945) (hereafter in this chapter, this document will be referred to as United Nations Charter).
3.
Ibid., Chapter I, Article 2, Sections 1, 2; George Church, "Trip Wires to War: What Would It Take for the U.S. to Attack Iraq, and How Would Bush Square the Decision with the U.N. and Congress?" Time ( October 29, 1990): 48-51; Lori Damrosch, "Constitutional Control of Military Actions: A Comparative Dimension," American Journal of International Law 85:1 ( January 1991): 74-88; Thomas Franck, and Faiza Patel, "UN Police Action in Lieu of War: 'The Old Order Changeth,'" American Journal of International Law 81:1 ( January

-71-

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