At the present time, the foreign policy debate in America is dominated by the traditional Cold War approach of the Cold War internationalists and the modified Cold War views of the post-Cold War internationalists. As much as they dislike the act, conservatives realize that its repeal is not possible. Moreover, practically speaking, it has not created unassailable obstacles to presidential discretion in the use of force. They have found they can live with it.
Although post-Cold War internationalists are disappointed with the Resolution's inability to do more to compel the president to report and consult, they are not likely to press for more vigorous enforcement of these provisions unless they feel they have to. They also find that they can live with the act because it reinforces theft contention that foreign policy power must be shared between the branches of government. The War Powers Resolution has created a somewhat different framework for decision making than existed from the time of Korea through the most intense days of the Cold War. Although this contribution is largely symbolic, it cannot be ignored.
At some point, however, this modus vivendi with the law, which both dominant foreign policy schools have achieved, will be threatened by events. When that occurs, presidential noncompliance will compel sharp political and legal challenges to the executive, inviting a similar response from that office. Only at that time will the real consequences of the War Powers Resolution be known.