War Powers - History

War Powers - History

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The Capital

The Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility of making war. The President is the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, but only Congress can declare war. In 1973, in reaction to President Johnson's use of executive war power, Congress limited the President's war power with the War Powers Act.

Article I, Section 8, clauses 12-16 of the Constitution state:"The Congress shall have power declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;to provide and maintain a navy;to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."


The question of who gets to make war has been one of the most disputed questions between the Presdiency and and the Congress.The last time Congress declared war was in World War II. As far back as President Washington President have used their perogative as Commander of Chief to lead the army into war. There have been hundreds of times when the US military has been used without authorization. Since the Vietnam War, the war making powers of the Presidency have been limited by the War Powers Act, which required the President to notify the Congress when US troops were intruduced into areas of confilcts. the President has 60 days to act and another 30 days to pull out troops unless he receives Congressional authorization to continue the action.

The War Powers Act of 1973

On June 3, 2011, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) attempted to invoke the War Powers Act of 1973 and force President Barack Obama to withdraw American forces from NATO intervention efforts in Libya. An alternative resolution floated by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) scuttled Kucinich's plan and required the president to give further details about U.S. goals and interests in Libya. The congressional wrangling once again highlighted nearly four decades of political controversy over the law.

Commander in Chief

The questions of whether the President possesses authority to use the military absent a Congressional declaration of war and the scope of such power, if it exists, have proven to be sources of conflict and debate throughout American history. In general, scholars express various views on the amount of power that the President actually has and the amount of power that the Constitution promises to the holder of that position.

After the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Administrations had spent nearly a decade committing U.S. troops to Southeast Asia without Congressional approval, Congress responded by passing the War Powers Resolution in 1973. The War Powers Resolution requires that the President communicate to Congress the committal of troops within 48 hours. Further, the statute requires the President to remove all troops after 60 days if Congress has not granted an extension.

When passed, Congress intended the War Powers Resolution to halt the erosion of Congress's ability to participate in war-making decisions. This resolution, however, has not been as effective as Congress likely intended (see the "War Powers Resolution" section in the Commander in Chief Powers article). The terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 further complicated the issue of war powers shared between the President and Congress. After September 11, the United States Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Terrorists (AUMF). When the United States invaded Afghanistan, the U.S. military rounded up alleged members of the Taliban and those fighting against U.S. forces. The military then placed these "detainees" at a U.S. base located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the direction of the Bush Administration who designed the plan under the premise that federal court jurisdiction did not reach the base. Consequently, the Bush Administration and military believed that the detainees could not avail themselves of habeas corpus and certain protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

As the military held many of these prisoners at the base for years without bringing formal charges against them, the prisoners found counsel within the United States to file habeas corpus petitions within U.S. federal courts. A series of cases then came before the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with the constitutionality of the prisoners' detentions at Guantanamo.

In 2004 Rasul v. Bush became the first case in which the Supreme Court directly discussed the Bush Administration's Guantanamo detention policies. 542 U.S. 466. The Court held that 28 U.S.C. § 2241 permits federal district courts to hear habeas corpus petitions by aliens held within territory over which the United States exercises "plenary and exclusive jurisdiction." This holding included Guantanamo detainees. The Court then instructed the district courts to hear the petitions.

After the Bush Administration responded to Rasul by permitting detainees to bring their petitions before military tribunals, the Supreme Court again addressed the matter in 2006 when they decided Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. 548 U.S. 557. The Court in Hamdan held that the President lacks constitutional authority under the Commander-in-Chief Clause to try detainees in military tribunals. The tribunals also violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, the Court rebuked the government's arguments that the AUMF expanded Presidential authority.

Congress responded by passing the Detainee Treatment Act, which provides that "no court, court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider . . . an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by . . . an alien detained . . . at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." In 2008, an Algerian citizen challenged the constitutionality of this statute in Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195). The Court held that a Congressional suspension of habeas corpus requires an explicit suspension of the writ and that merely stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction does not actually suspend the writ. The Court also stated that the detainees lacked proper procedural safeguards to ensure they obtained fair trials and the ability to ascertain the nature of the charges against them.

The Supreme Court deferred to the lower appeals courts, which found that due to the Detainee Treatment Act, "courts do not have the authority to hear lawsuits like the one[s] filed [here]."

Sorry history of the war powers debate


Former Executive Vice President

President Obama’s about-face on seeking congressional authorization to strike Syria was ultimately a political decision. On the one hand, he claims it is not legally necessary, and yet he knows he’s politically vulnerable. Thus he punted to Congress, demanding authorization to bolster support.

But where does this leave us legally? Does the War Powers Act require congressional authorization or not? Republicans who used to hate the War Powers Act’s restrictions on presidential war-making powers now argue that authorization is legally required. And Democrats who once clamored for authorizations in the Afghan and Iraq wars now assert Mr. Obama’s right to bypass Congress.

What’s going on here? Some history may clarify.

The War Powers Act of 1973 was largely a Democratic project, promoted in the wake of the Vietnam War. At the time, Republicans opposed requiring strict congressional approval of wars, arguing that it was unconstitutional and interfered with the constitutional prerogatives of the commander-in-chief. The act imposed a 90-day deadline on military operations launched by the president without congressional authorization. It passed over President Nixon’s veto.

The Democrats’ eagerness to seek congressional approval of military operations ended during the Clinton presidency. Faced with acts of genocide in the Balkans, Mr. Clinton gained neither congressional nor U.N. Security Council authorization for the military campaign against the Serb-dominated remnant of Yugoslavia over Kosovo. The operation was conducted under the aegis of NATO and ended 12 days before the 90-day deadline set by the War Powers Act. Technically, the act had not been violated. But it was abundantly clear that, with a Democrat in the Oval Office, Democrats had a different attitude about the need for congressional approval of military operations.

So, too, did Republicans. They were divided over the Balkan intervention, and some felt that Mr. Clinton was bypassing Congress. The shoe was on the other foot, and a lot of Republicans didn’t like it.

Fast forward to the Iraq War. Now the Democrats were out of power, and many who opposed the war fell back on the pre-Clinton-era standard of strict congressional approval for wars. Hence the demands for both congressional and U.N. authorizations before storming into Iraq. It was like a replay of the ‘70s, with congressional Democrats trying to restrain a supposedly warmongering Republican president.

The Republicans did a switch too. The military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq would clearly extend beyond the deadlines of the War Powers Act, so when President George W. Bush sought congressional authorizations for them, the question of compliance with the act was moot. Still, the principle of seeking congressional authorization had been established by a Republican president, and that was new. It raised a standard with which Mr. Obama now lives.

In Libya, however, he ignored it, bypassing Congress altogether. Instead, he argued that it was an indirect military operation in support of NATO. Authorization by the United Nations Security Council was sufficient.

With Syria it’s a different story. Mr. Obama will seek congressional authorization, even though he could argue his proposed “limited” response would be consistent with the War Powers Act (if the operation lasts less than 90 days). Still it is clear that he would have preferred to bypass Congress in this instance, just as he had done with Libya. And, if Congress votes against him, he may strike Syria after all.

As for the Republicans, they are all over the place. Some demand authorization, and some do not. Some call for an official declaration of war. Whatever may be said about them today, many (possibly most) have abandoned their old position of championing the constitutional prerogatives of the commander-in-chief to make war.

If all this makes your head spin, join the club. We don’t need a new law, but we could be more consistent when it comes to seeking congressional authorization of military action. Right now it seems mostly to be about which political party occupies the White House.

- Kim R. Holmes, a former assistant secretary of state, is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

As commander-in-chief, he is authorized to direct the movements of the naval and military forces placed by law at his command, and to employ them in the manner he may deem most effectual to harass and conquer and subdue the enemy.

According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the president of the United States is “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” Since the National Security Act of 1947, this has …

Allied powers

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Allied powers, also called Allies, those countries allied in opposition to the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey) in World War I or to the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) in World War II.

The major Allied powers in World War I were Great Britain (and the British Empire), France, and the Russian Empire, formally linked by the Treaty of London of September 5, 1914. Other countries that had been, or came to be, allied by treaty to one or more of those powers were also called Allies: Portugal and Japan by treaty with Britain Italy by the Treaty of London of April 26, 1915, with all three powers. Other countries—including the United States after its entry on April 6, 1917—that were arrayed against the Central Powers were called “Associated Powers,” not Allied powers U.S. Pres. Woodrow Wilson emphasized that distinction to preserve America’s free hand. The Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919) concluding the war listed 27 “Allied and Associated Powers”: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, the British Empire, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, the Hejaz, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serb-Croat-Slovene State, Siam, the United States, and Uruguay.

In World War II the chief Allied powers were Great Britain, France (except during the German occupation, 1940–44), the Soviet Union (after its entry in June 1941), the United States (after its entry on December 8, 1941), and China. More generally, the Allies included all the wartime members of the United Nations, the signatories to the Declaration of the United Nations. The original signers of January 1, 1942, were Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Subsequent wartime signers were (in chronological order) Mexico, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Iraq, Brazil, Bolivia, Iran, Colombia, Liberia, France, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.


There are no set or defined characteristics of a great power. These characteristics have often been treated as empirical, self-evident to the assessor. [15] However, this approach has the disadvantage of subjectivity. As a result, there have been attempts to derive some common criteria and to treat these as essential elements of great power status. Danilovic (2002) highlights three central characteristics, which she terms as "power, spatial, and status dimensions," that distinguish major powers from other states. The following section ("Characteristics") is extracted from her discussion of these three dimensions, including all of the citations. [16]

Early writings on the subject tended to judge states by the realist criterion, as expressed by the historian A. J. P. Taylor when he noted that "The test of a great power is the test of strength for war." [17] Later writers have expanded this test, attempting to define power in terms of overall military, economic, and political capacity. [18] Kenneth Waltz, the founder of the neorealist theory of international relations, uses a set of five criteria to determine great power: population and territory resource endowment economic capability political stability and competence and military strength. [19] These expanded criteria can be divided into three heads: power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status. [20]

John Mearsheimer defines great powers as those that "have sufficient military assets to put up a serious fight in an all-out conventional war against the most powerful state in the world." [21]

Power dimensions Edit

As noted above, for many, power capabilities were the sole criterion. However, even under the more expansive tests, power retains a vital place.

This aspect has received mixed treatment, with some confusion as to the degree of power required. Writers have approached the concept of great power with differing conceptualizations of the world situation, from multi-polarity to overwhelming hegemony. In his essay, 'French Diplomacy in the Postwar Period', the French historian Jean-Baptiste Duroselle spoke of the concept of multi-polarity: "A Great power is one which is capable of preserving its own independence against any other single power." [22]

This differed from earlier writers, notably from Leopold von Ranke, who clearly had a different idea of the world situation. In his essay 'The Great Powers', written in 1833, von Ranke wrote: "If one could establish as a definition of a Great power that it must be able to maintain itself against all others, even when they are united, then Frederick has raised Prussia to that position." [23] These positions have been the subject of criticism. [ clarification needed ] [20]

Spatial dimension Edit

All states have a geographic scope of interests, actions, or projected power. This is a crucial factor in distinguishing a great power from a regional power by definition, the scope of a regional power is restricted to its region. It has been suggested that a great power should be possessed of actual influence throughout the scope of the prevailing international system. Arnold J. Toynbee, for example, observes that "Great power may be defined as a political force exerting an effect co-extensive with the widest range of the society in which it operates. The Great powers of 1914 were 'world-powers' because Western society had recently become 'world-wide'." [24]

Other suggestions have been made that a great power should have the capacity to engage in extra-regional affairs and that a great power ought to be possessed of extra-regional interests, two propositions which are often closely connected. [25]

Status dimension Edit

Formal or informal acknowledgment of a nation's great power status has also been a criterion for being a great power. As political scientist George Modelski notes, "The status of Great power is sometimes confused with the condition of being powerful. The office, as it is known, did in fact evolve from the role played by the great military states in earlier periods. But the Great power system institutionalizes the position of the powerful state in a web of rights and obligations." [26]

This approach restricts analysis to the epoch following the Congress of Vienna at which great powers were first formally recognized. [20] In the absence of such a formal act of recognition it has been suggested that great power status can arise by implication by judging the nature of a state's relations with other great powers. [27]

A further option is to examine a state's willingness to act as a great power. [27] As a nation will seldom declare that it is acting as such, this usually entails a retrospective examination of state conduct. As a result, this is of limited use in establishing the nature of contemporary powers, at least not without the exercise of subjective observation.

Other important criteria throughout history are that great powers should have enough influence to be included in discussions of contemporary political and diplomatic questions and exercise influence on the final outcome and resolution. Historically, when major political questions were addressed, several great powers met to discuss them. Before the era of groups like the United Nations, participants of such meetings were not officially named but rather were decided based on their great power status. These were conferences that settled important questions based on major historical events.

Different sets of great, or significant, powers have existed throughout history. An early reference to great powers is from the 3rd century, when the Persian prophet Mani described Rome, China, Aksum, and Persia as the four greatest kingdoms of his time. [28] During the Napoleonic wars in Europe American diplomat James Monroe observed that, "The respect which one power has for another is in exact proportion of the means which they respectively have of injuring each other.” [29] The term "great power" first appears at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. [20] [30] The Congress established the Concert of Europe as an attempt to preserve peace after the years of Napoleonic Wars.

Lord Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, first used the term in its diplomatic context, writing on 13 February 1814: "there is every prospect of the Congress terminating with a general accord and Guarantee between the Great powers of Europe, with a determination to support the arrangement agreed upon, and to turn the general influence and if necessary the general arms against the Power that shall first attempt to disturb the Continental peace." [11]

The Congress of Vienna consisted of five main powers: the Austrian Empire, France, Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom. These five primary participants constituted the original great powers as we know the term today. [20] Other powers, such as Spain, Portugal, and Sweden, which were great powers during the 17th century, were consulted on certain specific issues, but they were not full participants.

After the Congress of Vienna, the United Kingdom emerged as the pre-eminent power, due to its navy and the extent of its overseas empire, which signalled the Pax Britannica. The balance of power between the Great Powers became a major influence in European politics, prompting Otto von Bismarck to say "All politics reduces itself to this formula: try to be one of three, as long as the world is governed by the unstable equilibrium of five great powers." [31]

Over time, the relative power of these five nations fluctuated, which by the dawn of the 20th century had served to create an entirely different balance of power. The United Kingdom and Prussia (as the founder of the newly formed German state), experienced continued economic growth and political power. [32] Others, such as Russia and Austria-Hungary, stagnated. [33] At the same time, other states were emerging and expanding in power, largely through the process of industrialization. These countries seeking to attain great power status were: Italy after the Risorgimento era, Japan during the Meiji era, and the United States after its civil war. By 1900, the balance of world power had changed substantially since the Congress of Vienna. The Eight-Nation Alliance was a belligerent alliance of eight nations against the Boxer Rebellion in China. It formed in 1900 and consisted of the five Congress powers plus Italy, Japan, and the United States, representing the great powers at the beginning of the 20th century. [34]

Great powers at war Edit

Shifts of international power have most notably occurred through major conflicts. [35] The conclusion of World War I and the resulting treaties of Versailles, St-Germain, Neuilly, Trianon and Sèvres made the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States the chief arbiters of the new world order. [36] The German Empire was defeated, Austria-Hungary was divided into new, less powerful states and the Russian Empire fell to revolution. During the Paris Peace Conference, the "Big Four" – France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States – held noticeably more power and influence on the proceedings and outcome of the treaties than Japan. The Big Four were the architects of the Treaty of Versailles which was signed by Germany the Treaty of St. Germain, with Austria the Treaty of Neuilly, with Bulgaria the Treaty of Trianon, with Hungary and the Treaty of Sèvres, with the Ottoman Empire. During the decision-making of the Treaty of Versailles, Italy pulled out of the conference because a part of its demands were not met and temporarily left the other three countries as the sole major architects of that treaty, referred to as the "Big Three". [37]

The status of the victorious great powers were recognised by permanent seats at the League of Nations Council, where they acted as a type of executive body directing the Assembly of the League. However, the Council began with only four permanent members – the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Japan – because the United States, meant to be the fifth permanent member, did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles and never joined the League. Germany later joined but left along with Japan, and the Soviet Union joined.

When World War II started in 1939, it divided the world into two alliances: the Allies (initially the United Kingdom and France, China in Asia since 1937, followed in 1941 by the Soviet Union and the United States) and the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan). [38] [nb 1] During World War II, the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" [39] and were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in Declaration by United Nations in 1942. [40] These four countries were referred as the "Four Policemen" of the Allies and considered as the primary victors of World War II. [41] The importance of France was acknowledged by their inclusion, along with the other four, in the group of countries allotted permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.

Since the end of the World Wars, the term "great power" has been joined by a number of other power classifications. Foremost among these is the concept of the superpower, used to describe those nations with overwhelming power and influence in the rest of the world. It was first coined in 1944 by William T. R. Fox [42] and according to him, there were three superpowers: Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. But after World War II Britain lost its superpower status. [43] The term middle power has emerged for those nations which exercise a degree of global influence but are insufficient to be decisive on international affairs. Regional powers are those whose influence is generally confined to their region of the world.

During the Cold War, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and West Germany rebuilt their economies. France and the United Kingdom maintained technologically advanced armed forces with power projection capabilities and maintain large defense budgets to this day. Yet, as the Cold War continued, authorities began to question if France and the United Kingdom could retain their long-held statuses as great powers. [44] China, with the world's largest population, has slowly risen to great power status, with large growth in economic and military power in the post-war period. After 1949, the Republic of China began to lose its recognition as the sole legitimate government of China by the other great powers, in favour of the People's Republic of China. Subsequently, in 1971, it lost its permanent seat at the UN Security Council to the People's Republic of China.

Great powers at peace Edit

According to Joshua Baron, since the early 1960s direct military conflicts and major confrontations have "receded into the background" with regards to relations among the great powers. [45] Baron argues several reasons why this is the case, citing the unprecedented rise of the United States and its predominant position as the key reason. Baron highlights that since World War Two no other great power has been able to achieve parity or near parity with the United States, with the exception of the Soviet Union for a brief time. [45] This position is unique among the great powers since the start of the modern era (the 16th century), where there has traditionally always been "tremendous parity among the great powers". This unique period of American primacy has been an important factor in maintaining a condition of peace between the great powers. [45]

Another important factor is the apparent consensus among Western great powers that military force is no longer an effective tool of resolving disputes among their peers. [45] This "subset" of great powers – France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – consider maintaining a "state of peace" as desirable. As evidence, Baron outlines that since the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) during the Cold War, these influential Western nations have resolved all disputes among the great powers peacefully at the United Nations and other forums of international discussion. [45]

Referring to great power relations pre-1960, Baron highlights that starting from around the 16th century and the rise of several European great powers, military conflicts and confrontations was the defining characteristic of diplomacy and relations between such powers. [45] "Between 1500 and 1953, there were 64 wars in which at least one great power was opposed to another, and they averaged little more than five years in length. During this approximately 450-year time frame, on average, at least two great powers were fighting one another in each and every year." [45] Even during the period of Pax Britannica (or "the British Peace") between 1815 and 1914, war and military confrontations among the great powers was still a frequent occurrence. In fact, Baron points out that, in terms of militarized conflicts or confrontations, the United Kingdom led the way in this period with nineteen such instances against Russia (8), France (5), Germany/Prussia (5) and Italy (1). [45]

Aftermath of the Cold War Edit

China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are often referred to as great powers by academics due to "their political and economic dominance of the global arena". [46] These five nations are the only states to have permanent seats with veto power on the UN Security Council. They are also the only state entities to have met the conditions to be considered "Nuclear Weapons States" under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and maintain military expenditures which are among the largest in the world. [47] However, there is no unanimous agreement among authorities as to the current status of these powers or what precisely defines a great power. For example, sources have at times referred to China, [48] France, [49] Russia [50] [51] [52] and the United Kingdom [49] as middle powers. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, its UN Security Council permanent seat was transferred to the Russian Federation in 1991, as its successor state. The newly formed Russian Federation emerged on the level of a great power, leaving the United States as the only remaining global superpower [nb 2] (although some support a multipolar world view).

Japan and Germany are great powers too, though due to their large advanced economies (having the third and fourth largest economies respectively) rather than their strategic and hard power capabilities (i.e., the lack of permanent seats and veto power on the UN Security Council or strategic military reach). [53] [54] [55] Germany has been a member together with the five permanent Security Council members in the P5+1 grouping of world powers. Like China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom Germany and Japan have also been referred to as middle powers. [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] In his 2014 publication Great Power Peace and American Primacy, Joshua Baron considers China, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States as the current great powers. [45]

Italy has been referred to as a great power by a number of academics and commentators throughout the post WWII era. [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] The American international legal scholar Milena Sterio writes:

The great powers are super-sovereign states: an exclusive club of the most powerful states economically, militarily, politically and strategically. These states include veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia), as well as economic powerhouses such as Germany, Italy and Japan. [64]

Sterio also cites Italy's status in the Group of Seven (G7) and the nation's influence in regional and international organizations for its status as a great power. [64] Italy has been a member together with the five permanent Security Council members Plus Germany in the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) [68] [69] [70] grouping of world powers. Some analysts assert that Italy is an "intermittent" or the "least of the great powers", [71] [72] while some others believe Italy is a middle or regional power. [73] [74] [75]

In addition to these contemporary great powers mentioned above, Zbigniew Brzezinski [76] and Mohan Malik consider India to be a great power too. [77] Although unlike the contemporary great powers who have long been considered so, India's recognition among authorities as a great power is comparatively recent. [77] However, there is no collective agreement among observers as to the status of India, for example, a number of academics believe that India is emerging as a great power, [78] while some believe that India remains a middle power. [79] [80] [81]

The United Nations Security Council, NATO Quint, the G7, the BRICs and the Contact Group have all been described as great power concerts. [82] [83]

Emerging powers Edit

With continuing European integration, the European Union is increasingly being seen as a great power in its own right, [84] with representation at the WTO and at G7 and G-20 summits. This is most notable in areas where the European Union has exclusive competence (i.e. economic affairs). It also reflects a non-traditional conception of Europe's world role as a global "civilian power", exercising collective influence in the functional spheres of trade and diplomacy, as an alternative to military dominance. [85] The European Union is a supranational union and not a sovereign state and has its own foreign affairs and defence policy. Anyway these remain largely with the member states of the European Union, which includes France, Germany and, before Brexit, the United Kingdom (referred to collectively as the "EU three"). [76]

Brazil and India are widely regarded as emerging powers with the potential to be great powers. [1] Political scientist Stephen P. Cohen asserts that India is an emerging power, but highlights that some strategists consider India to be already a great power. [86] Some academics such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and David A. Robinson already regard India as a major or great power. [76] [87] Former British Ambassador to Brazil, Peter Collecott identifies that Brazil's recognition as a potential great and superpower largely stems from its own national identity and ambition. [88] Professor Kwang Ho Chun feels that Brazil will emerge as a great power with an important position in some spheres of influence. [89] Others suggest India and Brazil may even have the potential to emerge as a superpower. [90] [89]

Permanent membership of the UN Security Council is widely regarded as being a central tenet of great power status in the modern world Brazil, Germany, India and Japan form the G4 nations which support one another (and have varying degrees of support from the existing permanent members) in becoming permanent members. [91] The G4 is opposed by the Italian-led Uniting for Consensus group. There are however few signs that reform of the Security Council will happen in the near future. [ citation needed ]

Israel [92] [93] and Iran [94] [93] are also mentioned in the context of great powers.

The political scientist, geo-strategist, and former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski appraised the current standing of the great powers in his 2012 publication Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power. In relation to great powers, he makes the following points:

The United States is still preeminent but the legitimacy, effectiveness, and durability of its leadership is increasingly questioned worldwide because of the complexity of its internal and external challenges. . The European Union could compete to be the world's number two power, but this would require a more robust political union, with a common foreign policy and a shared defense capability. . In contrast, China's remarkable economic momentum, its capacity for decisive political decisions motivated by clearheaded and self-centered national interest, its relative freedom from debilitating external commitments, and its steadily increasing military potential coupled with the worldwide expectation that soon it will challenge America's premier global status justify ranking China just below the United States in the current international hierarchy. . A sequential ranking of other major powers beyond the top two would be imprecise at best. Any list, however, has to include Russia, Japan, and India, as well as the EU's informal leaders: Great Britain, Germany, and France. [76]

According to a 2014 report of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies:

Great Powers. are disproportionately engaged in alliances and wars, and their diplomatic weight is often cemented by their strong role in international institutions and forums. This unequal distribution of power and prestige leads to “a set of rights and rules governing interactions among states” that sees incumbent powers competing to maintain the status quo and keep their global influence. In today’s international system, there are four great powers that fit this definition: the United States (US), Russia, China and the European Union (whereby the EU is considered to be the sum of its parts). If we distil from this description of great power attributes and capabilities a list of criteria, it is clear why these four powers dominate the international security debate. The possession of superior military and economic capabilities can be translated into measurements such as military expenditure and GDP, and nowhere are the inherent privileges of great powers more visible than in the voting mechanisms of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), where five permanent members have an overriding veto. The top ten countries ranked on the basis of military expenditures correspond almost exactly with the top ten countries ranked on the basis of GDP with the exception of Saudi Arabia which is surpassed by Brazil. Notably, each country with a permanent seat on the UNSC also finds itself in the top ten military and economic powers. When taken as the sum of its parts, the EU scores highest in terms of economic wealth and diplomatic weight in the UNSC. This is followed closely by the US, which tops the military expenditures ranking, and then Russia and China, both of which exert strong military, economic, and diplomatic influence in the international system. [95]

Timelines of the great powers since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century:

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The Theory and History of Presidential Unilateralism

Sarah Burns

The Constitution of the United States divides war powers between the executive and legislative branches to guard against ill-advised or unnecessary military action. This division of powers compels both branches to hold each other accountable and work in tandem. And yet, since the Cold War, congressional ambition has waned on this front. Even when Congress does provide initial authorization for larger operations, they do not provide strict parameters or clear end dates. As a result, one president after another has initiated and carried out poorly developed and poorly executed military policy. The Politics of War Powers offers a measured, deeply informed look at how the American constitutional system broke down, how it impacts decision-making today, and how we might find our way out of this unhealthy power division.

Sarah Burns starts with a nuanced account of the theoretical and historical development of war powers in the United States. Where discussions of presidential power often lean on the concept of the Lockean Prerogative, Burns locates a more constructive source in Montesquieu. Unlike Locke, Montesquieu combines universal normative prescriptions with an emphasis on tailoring the structure to the unique needs of a society. In doing so, the separation of powers can be customized while maintaining the moderation needed to create a healthy institutional balance. He demonstrates the importance of forcing the branches into dialogue, putting them, as he says, “in a position to resist” each other. Burns’s conclusion—after tracing changes through Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, the Cold War, and the War on Terror—is that presidents now command a dangerous degree of unilateral power.

&ldquoRead as a diagnosis of presidential excess in a system designed to encourage moderation and accountability, Burns book is provocative and timely.&rdquo

&mdashCongress & the Presidency

&ldquoIf you want to understand the growth of government, particularly the increased scope of executive power, read this book.&rdquo

&mdashThe Independent Review

&ldquoA welcome addition to debates about the rise of presidential power generally and presidential dominance of foreign policy in particular.&rdquo

&mdashReview of Politics

&ldquoBurns takes the reader on an exploration of American political thought (emphasizing Montesquieu), founding-era leaders, WWI and WWII, and the war on terror, bemoaning the decline of cross-institutional deliberation, engagement, and ambition. Highly recommended&rdquo


&ldquoSarah Burns has written a sweeping account of the contentious debate over war powers through the eyes of Montesquieu, Locke, and an array of American statesmen. The author’s mastery of the philosophical debates over war powers coupled with her sound grasp of history makes for a remarkable read. Her insightful discussion of Abraham Lincoln’s interpretation of presidential war powers and prerogative power is worth the price of admission alone.&rdquo

&mdashStephen F. Knott, professor in the Department of National Security Affairs, United States Naval War College

&ldquoSarah Burns’s The Politics of War Powers is a careful and illuminating study of the expansion of the president’s war-making powers at the expense of an often neglectful Congress. Beginning with a discussion of the founders’ thoughtful use of Montesquieu’s understanding of political moderation, Professor Burns then traces presidential understanding of these powers from Washington to the present. She argues convincingly that legal attempts to justify growing presidential control too often today replace debate and discussion about the prudence of military action.&rdquo

&mdashMark Blitz, Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy, Claremont Graduate University

&ldquoThose who ponder presidential power and America’s constitutional order have long needed such a comprehensive yet original book as Sarah Burns delivers. The Politics of War Powers articulates the lost Montesquieuan argument behind the letter and spirit of our unique constitutional frame and its distinctive executive power&mdashand with an appropriate eye toward policy relevance for current and expected challenges. This broader view connects the big ideas about war and peace, the high politics of national strategy, and how these have played out in America’s history. A judicious yet urgent call to restore America’s constitutional moderation, it deserves to reset the terms of debate among scholars, lawyers, and our political leaders.&rdquo

&mdashPaul Carrese, director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Burns’s work ranges across Montesquieu’s theory, the debate over the creation of the Constitution, historical precedent, and the current crisis. Through her analysis, both a fuller picture of the alterations to the constitutional system and ideas on how to address the resulting imbalance of power emerge.

About the Author

Sarah Burns is assistant professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology.

War Powers - History

World War II was fought between two major groups of nations. They became known as the Axis and Allied Powers. The major Allied Powers were Britain, France, Russia, and the United States.

The Allies formed mostly as a defense against the attacks of the Axis Powers. The original members of the Allies included Great Britain, France and Poland. When Germany invaded Poland, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.

Russia becomes and Ally

At the start of World War II, Russia and Germany were friends. However, on 22 June 1941 Hitler, the leader of Germany, ordered a surprise attack on Russia. Russia then became an enemy of the Axis Powers and joined the Allies.

The US Joins the Allied Powers

The United States had hoped to remain neutral during World War II. However, the US was attacked by surprise at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. This attack united the country against the Axis Powers and turned the tide of World War II in the favor of the Allies.

Leaders of the Allied Powers:

  • Great Britain: Winston Churchill - Prime Minister of Great Britain during most of World War II, Winston Churchill was a great leader. His country was the last country fighting against the Germans in Europe. He is known for his famous speeches to his people when the Germans were bombing them during the Battle of Britain.
  • United States: Franklin D. Roosevelt - One of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States, President Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression and through World War II.
  • Russia: Joseph Stalin - Stalin's title was General Secretary of the Communist Party. He led Russia through terrible and devastating battles with Germany. Millions and millions of people died. After winning the war, he set up the Eastern Bloc of Soviet led communist states.
  • France: Charles de Gaulle - Leader of the Free French, de Gaulle led the French resistance movement against Germany.

Other Allied leaders and generals in the war:

  • Bernard Montgomery - General of the British Army, "Monty" also led the ground troops during the invasion of Normandy.
  • Neville Chamberlain - Was the Prime Minister prior to Winston Churchill. He wanted peace with Germany.
  • Harry S. Truman - Truman became president after Roosevelt died. He had to make the call to use the atomic bomb against Japan.
  • George Marshall - General of the US Army during World War II, Marshall earned the Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan after the war.
  • Dwight D Eisenhower - Nicknamed "Ike", Eisenhower led the US Army in Europe. He planned and led the Invasion of the Normandy.
  • Douglas MacArthur - MacArthur was General of the Army in the Pacific fighting the Japanese.
  • George S. Patton, Jr. - Patton was an important general in North Africa and Europe.

  • Georgy Zhukov - Zhukov was leader of the Russian Red Army. He led the army that pushed the Germans back to Berlin.
  • Vasily Chuikov - Chuikov was the general who led the Russian Army in defending Stalingrad against the fierce German attack.
  • Chiang Kai-shek - Leader of the Republic of China, he allied with the Chinese Communist Party to fight the Japanese. After the war he fled from the communists to Taiwan.
  • Mao Zedong - Leader of the Communist Party of China, he allied with Kai-shek in order to fight the Japanese. He gained control of mainland China after the war.
  • Poland - It was the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 that started World War II.
  • China - China was invaded by Japan in 1937. They became a member of the Allies after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Note: There were even more countries that were on the same side as the Allies mostly because they had been taken over or attacked by Axis countries.

Attack On Titan: The War Hammer Titan's Powers & History Explained

The latest episode of Attack on Titan season 4 finally introduces the War Hammer Titan, but what powers does this unusual warrior possess?

Here's everything you need to know about the War Hammer Titan after the character's debut in Attack On Titan season 4. When the Attack On Titan story begins, the titans on display are almost exclusively mindless naked giants determined to eat whichever fleshy victims they get their hands on. A select few are known as titan-shifters - humans who possess one of the original nine named Titans. Eren Jaeger inherits the Attack and Founding Titans, Annie is the Female Titan, Reiner "Brock Lesnar" Braun holds the Armored Titan, Armin takes the Colossal Titan from Bertholt, Zeke leads the way with the Beast Titan, Porco is the Jaw Titan, and Pieck has the Cart Titan.

Heading into Attack On Titan season 4, only the War Hammer Titan remained unseen, but the veil is lifted in grand fashion as Eren declares war against Marley and comes up against the War Hammer in the middle of a chaotic Eldian Internment Zone. Like every member of the nine, the War Hammer possesses unique and powerful abilities but, even among its peers, this warrior's skills are unusual, catching Eren and Misaka entirely off-guard.

As explained by Willy Tyber, the War Hammer Titan has long been held by the noble Tyber family - Eldians who earned high-class status in Marley by turning on their own kind. Like the Reiss family's Founding Titan, the Tybers ensure the War Hammer remains in their bloodline by having each generation's recipient eat their predecessor. Whereas Marley's other titan-shifters are put to use as soldiers, the War Hammer is kept away from the battlefield, and the Tyber family go so far as to keep the identity of their shifter a secret. As the head of his house, many would've expected the War Hammer to be Willy himself, but Attack On Titan season 4 reveals the true holder to be his younger sister, who duly leaps into battle when Eren begins his assault on Marley.

In a huge departure from every other member of the nine Titans, the War Hammer's core is detached - nothing more than a cocoon of titan hardening which contains the shifter's human body. From a secret hiding place (usually underground) the War Hammer generates the giant, physical avatar of the War Hammer Titan - a tall, rangy monster wearing a mask and capable of speech, similar to the Beast and Cart. Because the shifter isn't housed inside the War Hammer's nape, this Titan can take any amount of damage without defeat. So long as the cocoon remains intact, the War Hammer's remote body can be rebuilt over and over, giving it a huge advantage over Eren, who must protect his nape and abandon his Attack Titan if it gets too beaten up.

Although other Titans (the Attack, Armored & Female, for example) can also use hardening, the War Hammer is far more versatile in this area, able to craft weapons and shields that can be wielded in battle. The long-handled hammer is a particular favorite. And because the true War Hammer remains underground, this Titan is capable of littering the vicinity with spikes, lances and obstacles - a rare example of a Titan with natural long-range attack capabilities.

The big drawback to the War Hammer Titan is the vulnerability of the main cocoon, which lies helpless if discovered. Should the shifter's layer of hardening protection be breached, the War Hammer is at risk of being lost completely, perhaps explaining why this monster was never deployed in battle by Marley. While the War Hammer Titan alone comes with major drawbacks, its abilities would prove more useful if eaten by another of the Nine Titans. They would then inherit all of the useful hardening abilities, but could remain hidden in the nape, rather than being exposed below ground. Attack On Titan also confirms that the War Hammer's hardening skill isn't without limit, and like every titan-shifter, is a slave to its own stamina.

Watch the video: Το Μυστικό Όπλο του Χίτλερ 28102019 (May 2022).


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