The War Power and the Commander in Chief
No power of government is more momentous than that concerning war and peace. In the twentieth century, many presidents cited the commander-in-chief power as a basis for instituting military action, as if the power over military decisions rested with the president alone. Yet this is not what the Constitution says, nor was it the intention of the framers. As the wording of Article II of the Constitution says, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” The Congress does the calling.
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