War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance [Updated June 11, 2008]   [open pdf - 141KB]

"For over three decades, war powers and the War Powers Resolution have been an issue in U.S. military actions in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and Europe. Presidents have submitted 123 reports to Congress as a result of the War Powers Resolution, although only one (the Mayaguez situation) cited Section 4(a)(1) or specifically stated that forces had been introduced into hostilities or imminent hostilities. [...] War powers have been at issue in former Yugoslavia/Bosnia/Kosovo, Iraq, and Haiti. Authorizing military actions in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of September 11, 2001, through P.L. 107-40 directly involved war powers. The continued use of force to obtain Iraqi compliance with U.N. resolutions remained a war powers issue from the end of the Gulf war on February 28, 1991, until the enactment of P.L. 107-243, in October 2002, which explicitly authorized the President to use force against Iraq, an authority he exercised in March 2003, and continues to exercise for military operations in Iraq. Debate continues on whether using the War Powers Resolution is effective as a means of assuring congressional participation in decisions that might get the United States involved in a significant military conflict."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33532
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