When President Barack Obama spoke to the nation On Saturday he confirmed he will ask congress for the OK to use military force against Syria over the use of chemical weapons.
While the president has said he didn’t need approval from congress to strike Syria others say he does. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
The president does need approval from congress to declare war, something that hasn’t happened since 1942.
But under the War Powers Resolution of 1973 the president only has to notify congress of his intentions/actions within 48 hours of committing US armed forces to military action abroad.
Once that’s done the president has 60 days to get the approval of congress or stop the action within 30 days of that decision.
In his address the president said he would not put American troops in danger by putting them on the ground in Syria.
Congress has been very selective in declaring war , a recap of them is below.
June 17th, 1812. Following the Revolutionary War there were still troubled times between the US and Great Britain. Congress declared war in order to put an end to those troubles.
May 12th, 1846. The US declared war against Mexico to maintain the border and to protect the land Mexico was trying to seize, most notably, Texas.
April 25th, 1989. War with Spain was declared after the USS Maine was destroyed and 288 US sailors killed while the ship was in a Cuban port. The explosion was blamed on Spain and in a matter of weeks the US routed the Spanish.
April 6th, 1917. A plan by Germany to finance Mexico as it tried to re-capture a great deal of land including Texas was discovered. That led to a declaration of war against Germany for their part in the action.
December 7th, 1917. Austria and Hungary were added to the nations America declared war against and World War I was underway.
December 8th-11th, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor drew the US into WWII with a declaration of war against Japan, Germany, and Italy.
June 4th, 1942. The nations of Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania were added to the WWII list of nations the US were at war with.