Concerning declarations of war, the A. power to declare war rests with the president only. B. National Security Council votes to declare war. C. UN Security Council declares war and the United States follows. D. president with the advice and consent of the Senate declares war. E. power to declare war rests with Congress alone. Which is the correct answer?

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The correct answer here is E, the power to declare war rests with Congress alone. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. No similar grant of this authority is provided to the Executive Branch in Article II. However, this question is...

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The correct answer here is E, the power to declare war rests with Congress alone. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. No similar grant of this authority is provided to the Executive Branch in Article II. However, this question is a bit murky at times because Article I, Section 8 grants Congress the power to declare war, raise armies, establish navies, regulate the conduct of armies and navies, and provide funding for the armies and navies, but Article II, Section II states that the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

This sets up a situation where Congress has the sole legal authority to declare war, though the President has the practical ability to wage an undeclared war. The President can legally send troops into combat without an act of war, leaving the Congress to either declare war (thus practically ceding this authority to the President), defund the military (which is politically unpopular), or impeach the President. Congress tried to overcome this issue with the War Powers Act, passed in the wake of the Vietnam War.

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The answer to this question can be found in Clause 11 of Section 8 in Article I of the Constitution of the United States.  That clause says that one of the powers that Congress has is the power “to declare War.”  When the Constitution says that, it means that the Congress does not have to share that power with any other group or person.

The Framers of the Constitution did not want the president to have too much power.  They worried that a president who was too strong would become more like a king or tyrant.  Therefore, they did not give the president the power to declare war.  They wanted war to be declared only if there was strong support for war in the country.  For this reason, the Constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war.

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