National Security (Great American Court Cases)
Of Highest Concern
Every nation defends itself. Most governments, in fact, regard national security as their highest concern. From military readiness to foreign policy and domestic laws, governments devote vast resources to protecting their nations in many ways. This fundamental responsibility never changes, but how it is defined by a government and its people can vary dramatically over time. Political, cultural and social forces, occurring within a nation itself and on the world stage, all work to shape the definition of what makes it secure. Constitutional law tells governments broadly what they can and cannot do in the name of security. Whether in peacetime or in war, the Constitution imposes stability and limits upon official power.
The U.S. Constitution divides responsibility for national security among the three branches of federal government. This system, known as the separation of powers, reflects the intent of the Constitution's framers that no single branch become too powerful. Thus each branch oversees the other through checks and balances with specific powers being neatly drawn. The president makes foreign policy through treaties with other nations, appoints ambassadors, and serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces. These executive branch powers are limited by those of the legislative branch....
(The entire section is 2086 words.)
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