But since the end of World War II, declarations of war
have become almost unknown, not only in the United States but across the world.
Peace, which is not in any way obstructed by rockets, suicide bombers, unilateral statehood bids and declarations of war
, comes up against only one obstacle.
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.
In examining debates over the role of declarations of war
in recent conflicts involving the United States, Saikrishna Prakash has proposed that there are three different approaches for understanding what declarations of war
entail in the US constitution: a categorical theory that states that the authority to declare war includes the power to control all decisions to enter war, a pragmatic theory that proposes that such power may be made unnecessary by an act of war in itself against the United States, and a formalist theory that holds that the power of declaring war constitutes only a formal implementation of executive power to conduct war.
Kenneth Moss, a professor and chairman of the Department of National Security Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, tackles the vagaries of presidential and constitutional power associated with US declarations of war
over the nation's history.
(There have been more declarations of war
than actual wars because Congress has issued separate declarations when fighting against alliances.
And, unlike in the movies, our declarations of war
have often been disasters.
Differences of opinion are not declarations of war
. They are the lifeblood of true intellectual exchange.
Part I, "Breaking the Mold," identifies the complete collection of formal declarations of war
in America's past (1776, 1812, 1846, 1898, 1917, and 1941).
With references from antiquity though the seventeenth century, he demonstrates convincingly that declarations of war
were consistently used in international relations and that parliaments and other bodies were central in determining whether war should be initiated.
"Talk of declarations of war
or of war cabinets raises temperatures.
In an edited, excerpted, and augmented version of a March 2007 report by the Congressional Research Service, Elsea (American law division) and Grimmett (foreign affairs, defense, and trade division) examine the historical background of declarations of war
and authorizations for the use of force by the US government, and their legal effects under international and domestic law.