The Military Power of the American President

The U.S. Constitution provides the president executive authority, suggesting that he should be commander-in-chief of the army and navy, while at the same time Congress is vested with the power to ‘declare war.’ These provisions have given rise to conflicting views since the country has been involved in numerous wars worldwide in recent decades, while Congress has not declared war since World War II. That is, it meant that the President could not wage conflict on his initiative without the decision of the houses (Hayes 188). At the same time, today, the distribution of powers is unclear because presidents claim broad powers to wage war while not characterizing them explicitly to avoid the necessity of Congress’s decision. For example, former President Obama explained military action by stating that the bombing in Libya and the airstrikes on ISIS did not require a declaration of war.

It is worth noting that defenders of this position argue that Congress in 2001 authorized the use of military force. That is, in fact, it provides the President the authority to use lethal force. At the same time, there are critics of such expanded Presidential powers (Hayes 188). They argue that the president has the power to wage war without congressional authorization only when there is a threat to global order and security in the United States. They explain that the threat posed by the opponent does not yet rise to that level. Moreover, the media often cover the issue and show people’s adverse reactions to armed action and positive responses to military achievements. Even though Presidents exceed their opportunities, this is the cause of a complex and tense situation in the world. Therefore, it would be desirable to establish more powers for the President in the Constitution so that there would be no contradictions and his commands would correspond to the realities.

I think that the President of the United States cannot declare war without sufficient reason. At the same time, it is essential to adhere to the principle of checks and balances, which enables authorities to make a proper decision. However, in the event of a serious threat to global security, the country must respond quickly to challenges. Thus, it is unnecessary to reduce the President’s powers because his position as commander-in-chief of troops may be valuable for a rapid response to violations of international law. At the same time, in my opinion, military exercises conducted by the United States are inevitable to deter violations of international rules and customs (Hayes 193). Military exercises do not include large-scale military operations but are only a means of improving service members’ skills. I think that the declaration and entry into the war should take place only with the consent of Congress, and the President can authorize military exercises.

I believe that military exercises are a necessary measure due to the existing problems in the world. Unfortunately, the number of conflicts is only increasing, and it is really hard to cope without the help of the United States. Moreover, it shows that the country is ready to respond to the challenges in the international arena (Hayes 190). The President is a key figure in this matter, as he is the guarantor of security. It should not be regarded as a misuse of powers; on the contrary, this only proves that he is ready to come to aid. If such an opportunity is taken away, the consequences can be extremely unwelcome and carry unnecessary risks. If these tactics helped strengthen the U.S. status on the world stage, then there is no need to reconsider anything.

Work Cited

Hayes, Michael. ‘Congress and War Powers: Symbolism and Nondecisions in the Struggle for Influence.’ Congress & the Presidency, vol. 45. no. 2, 2018, pp. 185-207. Web.

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"The Military Power of the American President." DemoEssays, 29 Sept. 2023,


DemoEssays. (2023) 'The Military Power of the American President'. 29 September.


DemoEssays. 2023. "The Military Power of the American President." September 29, 2023.

1. DemoEssays. "The Military Power of the American President." September 29, 2023.


DemoEssays. "The Military Power of the American President." September 29, 2023.