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Author Topic: Thoughts on the Topic  (Read 3446 times)
sheidt
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Posts: 2


« on: May 29, 2013, 08:04:55 PM »

Hi All, Attached find a PDF with my thoughts on the topic. It gets at the issue of War Power vs Commander and Chief power as well as several other things. I hope that it is found useful.

SHeidt

* A Memorandum on the Topic Area.pdf (110.32 KB - downloaded 630 times.)
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kevin kuswa
Sr. Member
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Posts: 345


« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 09:32:03 PM »

Stephen,

Thanks so much for the work and the insight--really useful material here.  I know you mentioned not entering the fray beyond this document, but I was hoping for a little clarification on a few points.

It's clear you are advocating "Presidential war power" instead of Commander in Chief power.  One reason you provide is that "war power is already narrow" and you do not want to open the door to small and unpredictable affs that took place under CiC.  One question that arises, then, is what is the overlap between the two phrases?  Is "war power" simply a subset, in your opinion, of Commander in Chief power (the part of Commander in Chief that deals with the declaration of war and the use of troops)?  Or, on the contrary, are there aspects of "war power" that are outside or beyond the CiC power?  The larger question is what affs would be excluded if we use CiC power in one or more of the wordings?

You probably answered these questions already, but I just want to try to fully grasp the distinctions and rectify those with the various incantations of the Idaho Statesmen I have looked at that conflate the two or actually use the CiC as a broader term than "war powers." Smiley  Thanks gain for the work--a huge contribution that is very on-point. 

Kevin

 
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sheidt
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 06:59:05 AM »

Quickly, I think "presidential war power/s" should be read as: presidential power to make war and CiC power should be read as: presidential power to conduct war (and oversee the military in times of "peace").

If it's the first, then there are 3 mechanisms for presidents to make war: receive Congressional authorization (WW2, Vietnam, AUMF), usurp Congressional war making power (most of U.S. history, usually by claiming exigency, Indian Wars, Korea, Reagan Administration), and/or claim emergency/security justifies limited military action (i.e. hostage situations, defense against pirates, etc). To me, a topic that intervenes on those components of presidential war power is fairly limited and excludes all Affs that involve Congress regulating specific military bodies (Women in combat, gays in military, etc - CiC 93-94 era, and potentially detention/GITMO, etc now) or machines (Drones, etc) or the way the president conducts Cyberwar as the solvency mechanism. I don't believe this interpretation of presidential war power necessarily excludes the timely components of this topic like Drones, Detention, GITMO, etc. Instead, I think it means the solvency mechanisms utilized to access those things would be different. For example, instead of a Ban Drone Strikes on US Citizens aff, where the Congress/Courts curtails the way a president conducts the WOT, the Aff would have to establish a set of parameters for when the president gets to utilize specific types of force (of which, drones could be one). The difference may seem trivial but in my mind it's a question of regulating "power" versus "conduct." There are distinct advantages to plans that regulate "power" that plans regulating "conduct" can never achieve as well, advantages particularly useful against the Executive Order CP, for example. I think any close reading of the WPR lends credence to my view that the Constitutional crisis of the Imperial presidency revolves around "power" of the institution (its ability to accrete power over the long term) and not about presidential conduct of any particular war.

Another way to think of this is to note that the only fully defensibly constitutional solution to how president's conduct war (CIC power) is for Congress to vote to end a war or to pull funding for specific activities - neither of which would be fun for the Aff (Defund Drones with the Exception of Yemen South Beach PIC would be lovely on the neg, or Defund GITMO except keep X terrorist in lockup, or what have you. Tater eat your heart out).

Not sure if I've answered your questions. But I hope this helps.
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jzhawk
Jr. Member
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Posts: 52


« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 08:21:18 PM »

I think SHeidt makes some important points.  I think the point regarding the value of have topicality debates that focus on how the terms war powers and CinC power have been misused and misinterpreted is compelling.   

All that said, it think it is worth noting that even in the world of the CinC power there were not really many cases, especially when one had the ability to use the XO counter plan to focus debates on the value of reducing the power to enact a specific policy rather than focusing on the desirability of the policy itself.

Oh, and thanks for the shout-out to the worst aff in the history of Scott Harris.
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Ermo
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Posts: 243


« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 06:39:59 AM »

Oh, and thanks for the shout-out to the worst aff in the history of Scott Harris.

Which Kansas aff from outside the history of Scott Harris provoked you to precisely distinguish your shout out in this manner?
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jzhawk
Jr. Member
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Posts: 52


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 08:00:06 AM »

Well, Ermo, the Aff from the trade topic where Ku legalized the importation of Heroin---but only from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan was far worse than anything Harris ever touched.  Fritch helped design that one.
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