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

By Donald L. Westerfield | Go to book overview
President Bush will address the Nation at 9 p.m. tonight from the Oval Office.
I'll try to get you more as soon as we can. Thank you very much.
Source: "Statement on Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf--January 16, 1991," in
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George Bush, Vol. 1 ( Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991): 42.

At 9:01 p.m. the president announced from the Oval Office of the White House, "Just 2 hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. These attacks continue as I speak."26


DESERT STORM: PRESIDENTIAL CONSULTATION

We observe a chronology of events in the preceding chapter and in the current one indicating that sufficient consultation between the Congress and the president did occur to a degree that more than satisfied the requirements of any interpretation of the War Powers Resolution. The chronology has also helped us to view the interaction of the Congress and the president with the United Nations Security Council. Having examined the most significant of the documents which communicate the authority to act on use of force, do we not have compelling evidence that, at least in the Persian Gulf operation, the Congress and the president did fulfill their respective constitutional responsibilities? What role did the War Powers Resolution play in the events leading up to and including Desert Storm?

The next chapter will provide an analysis of the War Powers Resolution and different views regarding its applicability, including some possible amendments to its language.


NOTES
1.
George Bush, "Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Deployment of Additional United States Armed Forces to the Persian Gulf--November 16, 1990," in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George Bush, Vol. 1 ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991): 1617-1618. (Hereafter in this chapter, the two-volume work will be referred to as Public Papers: George Bush.)
2.
United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, Chapter VII, Article 51.
3.
U.S. House of Representatives, "Joint Resolution concerning the War Powers of Congress and the President," November 7, 1973, P.L. 93-148, 87 Stat. 555 ( 1973), Sec. 4(a)(1).
4.
U. S. Department of State, "UN Security Council Resolutions on Iraq," U.S. Department of State Dispatch 1:14 ( December 3, 1990): 298.

-161-

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