Academic journal article Military Review

The Lost Art of Declaring War

Academic journal article Military Review

The Lost Art of Declaring War

Article excerpt

THE LOST ART OF DECLARING WAR, Brien Hallett, University of Illinois Press, Champaign, IL, 1998, 178 pages, $36.95.

Article I, section 8, of the US Constitution begins: "The Congress shall have the power" and continues, in clause 11, "to declare war. ... ." On its surface, the statement appears unambiguous. Why, then, has the United States actually declared war on so few occasions, particularly in contrast to the much more frequent use of military force abroad? Moreover, why has Congress abdicated this responsibility and the associated authority? These questions have nagged me for some time and is why I read this book. Hallett, an assistant professor at the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaii and a US Marine Corps platoon commander and staff officer in Vietnam, had similar qualms on this issue and does a superb job of answering my questions.

Explaining why declaring war has become a "lost art" only sets the conditions for Hallett's real goal, which he clearly states in the book's first sentence: "My purpose is to rethink the power to declare war. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.