News Release

War Powers


Former Secretaries of State James Baker III and Warren Christopher have formed a commission on war powers and have published a piece in today’s New York Times. They are advocating replacing the 1973 War Powers Resolution.

Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle said today: “The President is already required to ‘consult’ with Congress, which repeated Presidents have either refused to do, or else have done grudgingly. In fact they have done more consultation with foreign governments than they have with our own Congress when it comes to launching foreign wars of aggression around the world.

“The President and the Congress do not ‘share’ the war powers. Under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the war powers are textually vested in both Houses of the U.S. Congress, not the President. The President only has constitutional authority to repel a ‘sudden attack’ upon the United States and its armed forces.

“The War Powers Resolution was intended to redress the unconstitutional imbalance created by a series of imperial Presidents going back to Truman’s unconstitutional Korean War and culminating in Johnson’s unconstitutional Vietnam War, with 36,000 dead Americans and 58,000 dead Americans, respectively. In 2002 President George W. Bush lied to the American people and Congress to procure a fraudulent War Powers Resolution authorization to use military force against Iraq … There is nothing wrong with the War Powers Resolution except for imperial Presidents who believe they are above the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

Boyle’s most recent book is War, Resistance and Law.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167