William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


In recent history, the authority to commit US. troops to theaters of conflict has shifted from Congress to the President. After the Vietnam War, the War Powers Resolution was written to reestablish balanced authority over war between the political branches of government. In the post-Cold War era, forces frequently are deployed as part of multilateral UN. operations. This trend creates two contradictory needs: first, the need for the Executive to be able to act swiftly and decisively in formulating military commitments to the United Nations, and second, the need for Congress to authorize potentially long-term military deployments. To reconcile these contradictory needs, the President should be required to consult with a small group of key congressional actors before committing US. troops. to multilateral UN, military operations. There are both legal and security rationales for this. Centrally, Executive-congressional consultation re-solidifies the constitutional allocation of war powers and may bolster US. credibility in multilateral operations.