Undeclared War and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy

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Undeclared wars have a history in the United States almost as old as the country itself and bear an importance that has grown along with the nation's power, international status, and technological proficiency. Kenneth B. Moss's highly original argument in Undeclared War and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy demonstrates that though the framers of the Constitution had a broad notion of the varieties of war and the authority under which they would be undertaken without a formal declaration, Congress and the President are leading the United States into conflicts without fundamental oversight and accountability. The concentration of power in the president's hands is particularly troubling to Moss, and he traces the shift to congressional deference and even timidity. Presidential accountability to Congress and the public for limited wars has been harmfully weak, most recently in the wars against Vietnam and Iraq, says the author, and he proposes a new strategy for improving congressional institutions for oversight.