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2007-01-12
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Authority To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

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If you listen to Americans complain, President Bush is the general target of distaste for the presence in Iraq. This past Tuesday, 42.5 million viewers watched the president’s televised speech that outlined his new plan for operations in the Middle East. Almost immediately, congressional democrats expressed their opinion that Bush’s plan is not what the public voted for in the recent elections. This of course, begs the question, who has the authority (perhaps even a public responsibility) to withdraw American forces from Iraq?

The United States Constitution defines the power of the president, which was confirmed by the Department of Justice, with regard to deploying the military. On the other hand, Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution defines the powers of congress; specifically the power to declare war and to support the army. Digging deeper, clause 11, known as the War Powers Clause, of the Constitution specifically outlines congressional authority with regard to war. In the history of the United States, congress has normally supported the actions of the president despite a framework that clearly establishes a separation of power.

The president’s ninety days of arbitrary deployment have long since passed. Referencing the Constitution, should the angst of Americans lie with its congressional representation rather than the executive branch?


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