Presidential Powers

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Many powers are granted to the president of the United States, which emanate from a number of different sources. These include powers given by Acts of Congress and by Article II of the Constitution, as well as implied powers that are not explicitly stated in the Constitution itself. Preventing the executive branch or any single branch of government from becoming supreme is a system of checks and balances. With this system in place, certain powers also reside exclusively within Congress and the Supreme Court. In recent history, the power to assassinate potential threats to our nation has been regarded as a presidential power. Labeling these targets a potential threat is a controversial affair. The possible consequences of assassinating a target …show more content…
These powers are shared with congress, but constitutional framework causes many to question the extent of what the president can and cannot do. Defending the United States from attack, along with its territories, possessions, and armed forces, is the primary responsibility of the Commander in Chief (Fisher, 80). To ensure the safety of the nation, the president may use or threaten to use force against those that do not faithfully abide by the law. Abraham Lincoln exercised this ability when he ended the secession of the Southern States. Several presidents, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Bush, have opted to maintain control over military operations. They reviewed potential strategies and even organized the details of individual missions. Communicating directly with top commanders was a priority of theirs. On the other hand, Harry S. Truman and Woodrow Wilson trusted the judgment of key commanders, and simply set overall parameters for the military. During the Civil War, Lincoln discovered that the ability to hire and fire leading commanders was the most essential war power possessed by the …show more content…
In the twentieth century, the use of force without declaration from congress has resulted in many American casualties, raising serious questions of the constitutionality behind these operations. American involvement in both the Korean War and Gulf War stemmed from UN authorization (Crenson, 19). Nevertheless, Presidents Truman and Bush overlooked the procedures stated in the UN Participation Act, developed in 1945 (Crenson, 20). In either case, congressional approval was required before the use of force in a UN operation. Another instance of deployment without a declaration of war took place in North Vietnam. President Johnson stated that the Vietnam War fulfilled obligations of SEATO, but managing a civil war between “military regroupment zones,” was not specified (Crenson, 20). Through the use of armed force, Presidents Truman and Johnson lost a significant amount of popularity. Neither of them decided to run for second terms, underlining the political risk behind military action. The nation’s approval for war drops significantly when casualties spike from the use of armed forces. Presidents elected after the Vietnam War were typically unwilling to sustain involvement in any operation that produced a significant number of casualties. Furthermore, they opted for close media coverage that emphasized the success of operations against generally

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