Re-exploration of the most important roles of the US President – Analysis – Eurasia Review


When it comes to national security powers, most presidential mandates stem from law, creating an avalanche of questions about the parameters of those powers delegated to the president by Congress. As a result, the US president assumes various roles, which is called presidential power. The means to achieve an equal power balance may lie in respecting the constraints put in place to maintain the power balance. There are three types of presidential power:

  1. Constitutional powers, the Constitution certainly confers this power.
  2. Delegated powers: Congress grants this power to the presidents to facilitate them in the exercise of their functions.
  3. Inherent Powers: Historically, as an equal branch of government, the head of the executive branch, the president inherits the power that comes with the president’s office.

In addition, their powers are summed up and manifested in three roles of president, commander-in-chief, chief executive and head of state. Finally, it should be noted that both constitutional powers and delegated powers are expressly defined in the Constitution. Others have been established by acts of Congress or by tradition. As for inherited powers, most presidents of the United States have interpreted them differently, in a way that gives the president great authority.

Article II of the Constitution grants the President of the United States the title of Commander-in-Chief. Although this is clearly described in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 is as follows:

The President will be Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army and Navy, and of the State Militia, when called into actual United States service; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the chief officer in each of the executive departments, on any matter relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have the power to grant stays and pardons for offenses against them. United States, except in cases of impeachment.

Constitutional power makes the elected president the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces. The President has the general authority to command our armed forces in times of peace and war in that capacity. However, only Congress has the absolute power to declare war, decide on the civilian and allocate the military budget. However, war powers offer presidents a crucial course of action to attack the enemy when they perceive an imminent threat and act in foreign policy.

Moreover, only the president has the constitutional power to order war on American soldiers. For example, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush’s White House legal team argued that as Commander-in-Chief, he could do whatever was asked of him to use the forces. necessary to defend American territories and their citizens (Johnsen, 2008). History tells us that a few American presidents have called on Congress to declare war since World War II. Nonetheless, most presidents have never sought permission from Congress to start a war. Instead, they believe in Congress’ open or implied authorizations to use military force and have consulted with the United Nations and NATO.

As stated in Article II of the Constitution, the President, as the chief executive of a government, oversees the overall functioning of the executive. They make decisions based on information gathered by division heads and use available resources to carry out their program. He or she executes the laws passed by Congress. Every now and then they recommend new laws. And Congress debates them and either passes or rejects them. They may try to persuade them to pursue or not to pursue a particular policy. Notably, to accomplish the administration’s plan, a president must establish a good faith partnership and working relationship with Congress, support the American people, and must be prepared to give and receive, which is considered a compromise. They often chair a cabinet, prepare an executive budget for submission to Congress. The president appoints and dismisses the members of the executive. The President presents the legislative program of Congress. In addition, one of the president’s most powerful tools for making changes to advance the administration’s plan is the power to issue decrees.

As head of state, the president is the central figure and representative of American foreign policy. He or she negotiates treaties and makes agreements with foreign nations, and the Senate ratifies all treaties. Sometimes the presidents, on behalf of the country, make an executive agreement. This type of agreement is negotiated with foreign countries and does not require Senate approval. The downside of this agreement is that they are short-lived because they are not binding on future administrations. For example, on April 15, 2015, in Vienna, the Obama administration and the P5 + 1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council), the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China entered into a nuclear deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Joyner, 2016).

When the Trump administration came to power in 2017, they knew the executive deal was not an endorsement by Congress; thus, on May 8, 2018, Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA. And in November 2018, the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran and melodramatically changed its policies regarding the previous deal reached by the Obama administration (Landler, 2018). Trump’s position reinforced Iran’s ambition to openly resume uranium enrichment and reinforced the idea that the United States cannot be trusted.

In short, Trump’s decision was not an evidence-based procedural objection to the deal or its applicability. His purely political decision was based on a long-standing contempt for Obama, the first black president of the United States, and Iran. However, he presented the Iran nuclear deal as a failure and a promise of lies. President Trump’s driving force behind his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal had no other substantive reason than to fulfill an election promise he made. From the perspective of this article, as many security experts agree that the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the JCPOA agreement risks eroding trust on the global stage (Mulligan, 2018). Further, Trump’s action was not taken in the best interests of US national security; instead acted to appease Benjamin Netanyahu, the former Israeli prime minister.

The references

[1] JM Smith and AB Jones. Book title. Publisher, 7th edition, 2012.

[2] AB Jones and JM Smith. The title of the article. Journal title, 13 (52): 123-456, March 2013

Your 16-digit ORCID identifier is: 0000-0002-0405-1070

Landler, Marc (2018). “Trump is abandoning the Iranian nuclear deal he has long despised.” New York Times. Archived from the original on May 8, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal.html

Trump withdraws the United States from the deal with Iran ”. BBC News. May 8, 2018. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019.

Mulligan, Stephen P. (May 4, 2018). Withdrawal from international agreements: legal framework, Paris agreement and Iran nuclear agreement (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Kevin M. Stack, The Constitutional Foundations of Chenery, 116 YALE LJ 952, 1013-14 (2007)

Joyner, Daniel (2016). Iran’s nuclear program and international law: from confrontation to agreement (first edition). New York, NY.

“The United States is targeting the weapons program with the toughest sanctions since the cancellation of the deal with Iran.” ABC News. November 3, 2018.

Harold Hongju Koh, Why the President (Almost) Always Wins in Foreign Affairs: Lessons from the Iran-Contra Affair, 97 YALE LJ 1255, 1263–64 (1988)

Guide to Emergency Powers and Their Use, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE (last updated January 7, 2019), https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/emergency-powers [https://perma.cc/C74W-7WWT]

Heidi Kitrosser, Secrecy and Separate Powers: Executive Privilege Revisited, 92 IOWA L. REV. 489, 491 (2007);

David E. Pozen, Deep Secret, 62 STAN. L. REV. 257 (2010).

Ginsberg, Wendy, and Daniel J. Richardson. “Past Presidents: pensions, office pay and other federal benefits. Congressional Research Service, March 16, 2016.

Johnsen, Dawn E., “What Should a President Do? Interpretation of the Constitution following the abuses of the Bush administration ”(2008). Articles from the Maurer Faculty. 140. https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/facpub/140


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