External factors in presidential war authority


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Towson University. Social Sciences Program

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This thesis addresses the evolution of presidential war authority and key "external factors" influencing presidential war authority, examining these factors in three recent presidential administrations. The evolution of executive war authority follows a historical pattern: the exercise of executive war power has varied from weak during America's beginnings to very strong since the early 20th century. The thesis explores the reasons for this development and distinguishes several influential factors that fueled and sustained this growth. The thesis, however, also explores the manner in which these "external factors" can work to limit presidential war authority as well. In the final analysis, despite the existence of some limiting factors on presidential war authority, the research suggests a strong likelihood of increasing presidential power in the areas of foreign affairs and, particularly, war making.