In every moment of America’s recent history, the American government is running expensive wars over claims such as protection of the American population from the imminent foreign harm. To achieve these objectives, presidential powers have grown systematically to enable easier and faster decision-making, involving less and less stakeholders to make stands on certain important issues. The Bush administration fought against the reduction of the president’s power. Since the turn of this century, the president has continuously expanded his mandate on various issues such as war on terror. For instance, the president decisions sometimes overrule the law on particular issues. Although the law is clearly against such issues as torture of prisoners, the president has the prerogative to issue orders against such a law.
Legislations passed in the recent times contain implicit powers for the president’s power in the law, such as the electronic surveillance, which allows the president to conduct electronic surveillance over unclearly defined issues such as national security. The president can order wiretaps at will, the legislation implicitly gives the president this authority
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On the highly controversial issue of war, the president has the power to make decisions based on his personal opinion, even though it contradicts the public opinion on the issue. A clear example is the years of war in Iraq, even though public opinion suggests that the Americans need to retreat from the country and leave Iraq back in the hands of its people.
Earlier on, in the twentieth century, a referendum was necessary before making a war decision. Nowadays, the presidential powers have effectively eliminated the need for that. The President needs not ask anybody about an issue before launching war with perceived enemies of America. The free reign in presidential powers explains why the war has gone for as long as the president wants to, and will likewise stop when the president finally thinks that it is necessary to stop the war.
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