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Daily Archives: April 25, 2014

CRS – Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force

Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications. Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney. Matthew C. Weed,  Analyst in Foreign Policy Legislation. April 18, 2014

“From the Washington Administration to the present, Congress and the President have enacted 11 separate formal declarations of war against foreign nations in five different wars. Each declaration has been preceded by a presidential request either in writing or in person before a joint session of Congress. The reasons cited in justification for the requests have included armed attacks on United States territory or its citizens and threats to United States rights or interests as a sovereign nation. Congress and the President have also enacted authorizations for the use of force rather than formal declarations of war. Such measures have generally authorized the use of force against either a named country or unnamed hostile nations in a given region. In most cases, the President has requested the authority, but Congress has sometimes given the President less than what he asked for. Not all authorizations for the use of force have resulted in actual combat. Both declarations and authorizations require the signature of the President in order to become law. In contrast to an authorization, a declaration of war in itself creates a state of war under international law and legitimates the killing of enemy combatants, the seizure of enemy property, and the apprehension of enemy aliens. While a formal declaration was once deemed a necessary legal prerequisite to war and was thought to terminate diplomatic and commercial relations and most treaties between the combatants, declarations have fallen into disuse since World War II. The laws of war, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions, apply to circumstances of armed conflict whether or not a formal declaration or authorization was issued. With respect to domestic law, a declaration of war automatically triggers many standby statutory authorities conferring special powers on the President with respect to the military, foreign trade, transportation, communications, manufacturing, alien enemies, etc. In contrast, no standby authorities appear to be triggered automatically by an authorization for the use of force, although the executive branch has argued, with varying success, that the authorization to use force in response to the terrorist attacks of 2001 provided a statutory exception to certain statutory prohibitions.”

DoD Defense Suicide Prevention Office Annual Report

“DSPO’s annual report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 details the office’s evolution, goals, priority areas, and key accomplishments. DSPO’s first annual report describes a range of initiatives it has led in collaboration with the Services and other public and private partners to prevent suicide among the U.S. Armed Forces…“The department takes suicide prevention very seriouslyContinue Reading

Real Personal Income for States and Metropolitan Areas, 2008-2012

“Today, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released real, price-adjusted estimates of personal income for states and metropolitan areas for 2008-2012. The price-adjustments are based on regional price parities (RPPs) and on BEA’s national Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index. The RPPs measure geographic differences in the price levels of consumption goods and services relative to the nationalContinue Reading

The Book of the States dating back to 1935 no available online in its entirety

“Since 1933, The Council of State Governments has served as a resource for state leaders and a catalyst for innovation and excellence in state governance.  Just two years after its founding, CSG published the first volume of The Book of the States. For 78 years, The Book of the States has remained a reference tool of choice, providing relevant,Continue Reading

Pinterest – Guided Search: a new way to find what you’re looking for

“Search engines are great for answering specific questions—the weather in San Francisco or the capital of Peru—but Pinterest can help with the questions that have more than one right answer. Where’s your next vacation or what’s for dinner tonight? With so many possibilities, you might not know the best one till you see it. To helpContinue Reading

BLS – New Quarterly Statistics Detail Industries’ Economic Performance

“The Bureau of Economic Analysis released today – for the first time – gross domestic product (GDP) by industry for 22 industry sectors on a quarterly basis. These new statistics fill an important gap in U.S. federal economic statistics by providing timely information on how individual industries contributed to U.S. economic growth in a given quarter.Continue Reading