For some time the international community has been keenly interested in the foreign uses to which America puts its military. The nature of these uses has traditionally been affected by the manner in which the Constitution divides the war powers between the President and Congress. This allocation of war-peace authority, in tum, is the product of a number of influences, among them the intentions of the Framers and Ratifiers for the text which they drafted and approved. Their war-power debates, as we shall see, have heavy international overtones.These debates have not been neglected, especially during America's recent involvement in Indochina. Why another plunge into the war-power understandings of 1787 -88? In part, it is useful to approach them without the distraction unavoidable when the country is at war. More important, it is helpful to present in unusual detail the basic data on which conclusions about the Framers and Ratifiers' intentions rest. Armed with these data, it becomes possible for the reader to cast an informed and appropriately cold eye on pronouncements about what the Constitutional Fathers had in mind - including pronouncements below.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1974

Publication Information

15 Virginia Journal of International Law 73-147 (1974)