After the Rubicon: Congress, Presidents, and the Politics of Waging War

After the Rubicon: Congress, Presidents, and the Politics of Waging War

by Douglas L. Kriner
     
 

When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have

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Overview

When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have proclaimed its irrelevance in military matters.

After the Rubicon challenges this conventional wisdom by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators influence the conduct of military affairs. Douglas L. Kriner reveals that even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course.

Marshalling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, Kriner expertly demonstrates the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions and sheds new light on the timely issue of interbranch relations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226453569
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/15/2010
Series:
Chicago Series on International and Domestic Institutions Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Figures....................vii
List of Tables....................ix
Acknowledgments....................xi
CHAPTER 1. Introduction: Domestic Politics and Waging War....................1
CHAPTER 2. Mechanisms of Congressional Influence....................39
CHAPTER 3. Partisan Politics and the Initiation, Scale, and Duration of War....................87
CHAPTER 4. Congressional Actions and the Conduct of War....................147
CHAPTER 5. "Sitting Ducks": Marines in Beirut, 1982–84....................193
CHAPTER 6. The Logic of Congressional Action....................233
CHAPTER 7. Conclusion: Congressional Constraints and the War on Terror....................269
References....................287
Index....................315

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