The Tonkin Gulf Resolution and the Power to Make War

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According to article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution, Congress has the exclusive power to declare war. Yet, the last time Congress did declare war — June of 1942 — was against the Axis-aligned countries of Hungry, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Since WWII, the United States has participated in a number of military conflicts resulting in scores of thousands of American casualties, yet all without a formal declaration of war on the part of Congress. In practice, Congress has ceded the power to make war to the executive branch.

Beginning with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, provide a synopsis of major instances of this development and discuss its pros and cons. Do you think the power to make war should reside in the legislative branch or the executive branch? Make sure to provide reasons supported by historical fact to support your arguments.

Remember to bring in at least one authoritative source from your own research in addition to any information you provide from Hallock. The minimum word count for your initial post is 200 words, not counting citations. The response posts, to score at the highest level, need to engage the other students’ ideas and bring in new facts to advance the discussion. The minimum word count per response post is 100 words.

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