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What are some reasons why the President was given almost unlimited military powers? What are some possible positive and negative effects resulting from the scope of the President's military power?

The effective conduct of a war requires a strict obediance of a chain of command. The president is the Commander In Chief. The legislature has only budgetary powers. We are witnessing the effects of this struggle at this time.

Here's a good place to read more about the US President and his powers. DrWLS is right -- there's a struggle going on right now, and it's an interesting one to watch.


Congress gave President Bush almost unlimited military powers because he convinced it and most voters that we were seriously threatened by Iraq. In our fear of another terrorist attack, we believed that the president had information that would help us prevent another 9/11. It's become apparent, though, that Iraq was not a threat and many people believe that Bush has drastically abused the powers conferred on him.

The President does not have unlimited military power.

If we're speaking of what 9-11 brought about, the President "has broad constitutional power to take military action in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Congress has acknowledged this inherent executive power in both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001.

The President has constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations.

The President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11. " (US Department of Justice report "The President's Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them" Sept 25, 2001)

Because of the way the constitution was written, Congress does not necessarily have to declaire war for military operations to be carried out through the commander in chief. But an actual declaration of war did not always take place in history when battles were fought internationally.

Where the President has control of the military like this is when the US is in an Emergency Situation. And some may or may not disagree with what that emergency situation is, but one cannot deny that right is there for the President to use. (Like many people against the war try to claim).

It's apparent to many that the Iraqi government was a terrorist government. Read up on the Halabja attack sometimes and see how Iraq handled things in a terrorist fashion. And already hating the US/looking like a hero for standing up to the "Western World" as well as the fact that, even after Operation Desert Storm, President Clinton still had to fire missles at Iraq, leaves us to believe that both sides of the political party viewed Hussein as a threat - and for good reasons.

Hope this helps some!

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