May 17th, 2013, 17:06
Believe this is all true...although the "delegation" piece may not be TOTALLY accurate. There are plans where forces can act without direct verbal approval, however that generally implies a certain set of conditions...i.e. "If this, then this" (takes you back to programming with Basic doesn't it?). So, the Executive can stipulate conditions where a military option may be exercised given a certain circumstance. Now, is that delegation? Sort of depends on how you view it.
Now, if you're freaking out over the seemingly overwhelming authority of the Executive Branch of the U.S....you can relax a bit. There is the Legislative Branch to consider. They do not have the authority to execute foreign policy, that belongs to the Executive....but the Legislative Branch owns the pocket book and through the so called "power of the purse" halt any military operation it wants by de-funding it, or any portion of the Federal Budget. Does not necessarily have to be military spending either. Lots of Americans believe only Congress can authorize the use of military power...that is categorically false. Only Congress can declare War, but there's no reference to any military action short of war. As a result the legislative branch proposed, and passed over presidential veto, the "War Powers Act" which essentially limited all military operations to 60 days, with an additional 30 days after the formal notification of Congress. Frankly, this joint resolution from Congress is dead in the water since it has never been used, nor is there any real teeth in it. The teeth is in the funding, which was already in place prior to the Act....so, sort of a feel good piece, with not much muscle.
There is another option ....the legislative branch could enact a joint resolution (assuming with enough votes to override an executive branch veto) to prevent any operation or halt it by making it against the law to proceed. This assumes they can rustle up the votes of course. This has been done. When the North Vietnamese government violated their treaty obligation and invaded the former South Viet Nam in 1975, a joint resolution from Congress prevented President Ford from taking any action to intervene.
I remember this very specifically because my father, a two tour veteran of the Viet Nam war, spent the evening crying.