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[IWS] CRS: DECLARATIONS OF WAR AND AUTHORIZATIONS FOR THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND LEGAL IMPLICATIONS [18 April 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications

Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney

Matthew C. Weed,  Analyst in Foreign Policy Legislation

April 18, 2014

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL31133.pdf

[full-text, 112 pages]

 

Summary

From the Washington Administration to the present, Congress and the President have enacted 11

separate formal declarations of war against foreign nations in five different wars. Each

declaration has been preceded by a presidential request either in writing or in person before a

joint session of Congress. The reasons cited in justification for the requests have included armed

attacks on United States territory or its citizens and threats to United States rights or interests as a

sovereign nation.

 

Congress and the President have also enacted authorizations for the use of force rather than

formal declarations of war. Such measures have generally authorized the use of force against

either a named country or unnamed hostile nations in a given region. In most cases, the President

has requested the authority, but Congress has sometimes given the President less than what he

asked for. Not all authorizations for the use of force have resulted in actual combat. Both

declarations and authorizations require the signature of the President in order to become law.

In contrast to an authorization, a declaration of war in itself creates a state of war under

international law and legitimates the killing of enemy combatants, the seizure of enemy property,

and the apprehension of enemy aliens. While a formal declaration was once deemed a necessary

legal prerequisite to war and was thought to terminate diplomatic and commercial relations and

most treaties between the combatants, declarations have fallen into disuse since World War II.

The laws of war, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions, apply to circumstances of armed

conflict whether or not a formal declaration or authorization was issued.

 

With respect to domestic law, a declaration of war automatically triggers many standby statutory

authorities conferring special powers on the President with respect to the military, foreign trade,

transportation, communications, manufacturing, alien enemies, etc. In contrast, no standby

authorities appear to be triggered automatically by an authorization for the use of force, although

the executive branch has argued, with varying success, that the authorization to use force in

response to the terrorist attacks of 2001 provided a statutory exception to certain statutory

prohibitions.

 

Most statutory standby authorities do not expressly require a declaration of war to be actualized

but can be triggered by a declaration of national emergency or simply by the existence of a state

of war; however, courts have sometimes construed the word “war” in a statute as implying a

formal declaration, leading Congress to enact clarifying amendments in two cases. Declarations

of war and authorizations for the use of force waive the time limitations otherwise applicable to

the use of force imposed by the War Powers Resolution.

 

This report provides historical background on the enactment of declarations of war and

authorizations for the use of force and analyzes their legal effects under international and

domestic law. It also sets forth their texts in two appendices. The report includes an extensive

listing and summary of statutes that are triggered by a declaration of war, a declaration of national

emergency, and/or the existence of a state of war. The report concludes with a summary of the

congressional procedures applicable to the enactment of a declaration of war or authorization for

the use of force and to measures under the War Powers Resolution. The report will be updated as

circumstances warrant.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Previous Declarations of War .......................................................................................................... 1

Key Statutory Authorizations for the Use of Military Force ........................................................... 5

France 1798 ............................................................................................................................... 5

Tripoli 1802 ............................................................................................................................... 6

Algeria 1815 .............................................................................................................................. 7

Suppression of Piracy 1819-1823 .............................................................................................. 7

Formosa 1955 ............................................................................................................................ 8

Middle East 1957 ....................................................................................................................... 8

Southeast Asia 1964 .................................................................................................................. 9

Lebanon 1983 .......................................................................................................................... 10

Iraq 1991 .................................................................................................................................. 12

Terrorist Attacks against the United States (World Trade Center and the Pentagon)

2001 ...................................................................................................................................... 14

Authorization for Use of Force Against Iraq 2002 .................................................................. 16

Implications Under International Law ........................................................................................... 19

Implications Under Domestic Law ................................................................................................ 23

The War Powers Resolution .................................................................................................... 26

Trading with the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act .......... 27

Other Economic Authorities .................................................................................................... 28

Alien Enemy Act ..................................................................................................................... 28

Criminal Law ........................................................................................................................... 29

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ............................................................................................ 33

Assassination ........................................................................................................................... 34

The Defense Production Act of 1950 ...................................................................................... 35

Insurance Contracts ................................................................................................................. 37

Military Personnel ................................................................................................................... 38

Itemization of Standby Statutory Authorities ................................................................................. 43

(1) Statutory Authorities Triggered by a Declaration of War ......................................................... 44

Congressional Budget Act ....................................................................................................... 44

Agricultural Exports ................................................................................................................ 44

Armed Forces .......................................................................................................................... 45

Coast Guard ............................................................................................................................. 45

Small Business Administration ................................................................................................ 46

Unilateral Trade Sanctions ...................................................................................................... 46

Armed Forces Retirement Home ............................................................................................. 46

Statutes of Limitation .............................................................................................................. 46

Tort Claims Against the Federal Government ......................................................................... 46

Deferral of Civil Works Projects ............................................................................................. 46

Nuclear Regulatory Commission ............................................................................................. 47

Alien Enemy Act ..................................................................................................................... 47

National Defense Stockpile ..................................................................................................... 47

National Security Agency (NSA) Personnel Security ............................................................. 47

Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents ................................................................................ 47

National Emergencies Act ....................................................................................................... 48

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ......................................................................... 48

Selective Service Act ............................................................................................................... 48

(2) Statutory Authorities Triggered by the Existence of a State of War (and Thus Also by

a Declaration of War) .................................................................................................................. 49

Administrative Procedure ........................................................................................................ 49

Federal Employees .................................................................................................................. 49

Aliens ....................................................................................................................................... 50

Armed Forces .......................................................................................................................... 50

Reserves ................................................................................................................................... 57

Trading with the Enemy Act .................................................................................................... 58

Coast Guard ............................................................................................................................. 58

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ................................................................................. 59

Tennessee Valley Authority ..................................................................................................... 59

Criminal Prosecutions ............................................................................................................. 60

Imports ..................................................................................................................................... 60

Student Financial Aid .............................................................................................................. 60

Neutrality ................................................................................................................................. 60

Miscellaneous .......................................................................................................................... 60

Accounting and Contracts ....................................................................................................... 61

Contracts .................................................................................................................................. 61

National Guard ........................................................................................................................ 61

Armed Forces .......................................................................................................................... 61

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ................................................................ 62

Ocean Dumping ....................................................................................................................... 62

Patents ..................................................................................................................................... 62

Armed Forces .......................................................................................................................... 62

Veterans’ Care .......................................................................................................................... 63

Reemployment Rights ............................................................................................................. 63

Sale of War Supplies to Foreign States .................................................................................... 63

Defense Structures in the District of Columbia ....................................................................... 63

Public Contracts....................................................................................................................... 64

Public Health Service .............................................................................................................. 64

Infectious Diseases .................................................................................................................. 64

Nuclear Energy ........................................................................................................................ 64

Public Lands ............................................................................................................................ 65

Natural Resources .................................................................................................................... 65

Destruction of Records ............................................................................................................ 65

Shipping ................................................................................................................................... 65

Communications ...................................................................................................................... 66

Railroads .................................................................................................................................. 66

Procurement of Ships and Material During War ..................................................................... 66

Protection of Ships and Harbors .............................................................................................. 67

Federal Emergency Management Agency ............................................................................... 67

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Retirement Plan ............................................................... 67

International Emergency Economic Powers ............................................................................ 67

Trading with the Enemy Act .................................................................................................... 67

Selective Service Act ............................................................................................................... 68

(3) Statutory Authorities Triggered by Declaration or Existence of National Emergency ............ 68

Federal Employees .................................................................................................................. 68

Agriculture ............................................................................................................................... 69

Armed Services ....................................................................................................................... 70

Fort McHenry .......................................................................................................................... 70

Customs Service ...................................................................................................................... 70

Barro Colorado Island ............................................................................................................. 71

Foreign Relations ..................................................................................................................... 71

Federal Highways .................................................................................................................... 71

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration ..................................................... 71

Basic Pay of the Uniformed Services ...................................................................................... 71

Veterans Affairs ....................................................................................................................... 71

Davis-Bacon Act ...................................................................................................................... 72

Real Property and Contracts .................................................................................................... 72

Public Health ........................................................................................................................... 72

Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990 .................................. 72

Prohibition of Compensation ................................................................................................... 73

Relocation ................................................................................................................................ 73

Resources ................................................................................................................................. 73

Merchant Marine ..................................................................................................................... 73

Airports .................................................................................................................................... 74

Modification of Defense Contracts .......................................................................................... 74

National Emergencies Act ....................................................................................................... 74

International Economic Emergency Powers Act ..................................................................... 74

Defense Production Act ........................................................................................................... 75

Congressional Procedures for Declaring War or Authorizing the Use of Force ............................ 75

Regular Procedures .................................................................................................................. 75

World War I ....................................................................................................................... 76

World War II ...................................................................................................................... 77

Congressional Procedures Under The War Powers Resolution ............................................... 77

 

Tables

Table 1. Key Dates and Actions Related to Formal U.S. Declarations Of War ............................... 4

 

Appendixes

Appendix A. Texts of Formal Declarations of War by the United States....................................... 81

Appendix B. Texts of Key Authorizations of Use of Force ........................................................... 88

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information......................................................................................................... 107

Acknowledgments ....................................................................................................................... 107

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 




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