While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers

Princeton University Press
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Nearly five hundred times in the past century, American presidents have deployed the nation's military abroad, on missions ranging from embassy evacuations to full-scale wars. The question of whether Congress has effectively limited the president's power to do so has generally met with a resounding "no." In While Dangers Gather, William Howell and Jon Pevehouse reach a very different conclusion.

The authors--one an American politics scholar, the other an international relations scholar--provide the most comprehensive and compelling evidence to date on Congress's influence on presidential war powers. Their findings have profound implications for contemporary debates about war, presidential power, and Congress's constitutional obligations.

While devoting special attention to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this book systematically analyzes the last half-century of U.S. military policy. Among its conclusions: Presidents are systematically less likely to exercise military force when their partisan opponents retain control of Congress. The partisan composition of Congress, however, matters most for proposed deployments that are larger in size and directed at less strategically important locales. Moreover, congressional influence is often achieved not through bold legislative action but through public posturing--engaging the media, raising public concerns, and stirring domestic and international doubt about the United States' resolve to see a fight through to the end.

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About the author

William G. Howell and Jon C. Pevehouse are associate professors at the University of Chicago's Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy. Howell is the author of Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action (Princeton). Pevehouse is the author of, most recently, Democracy from Above
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Additional Information

Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 27, 2011
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Political Science / American Government / National
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Security (National & International)
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since the early 1960s, scholarly thinking on the power of U.S. presidents has rested on these words: "Presidential power is the power to persuade." Power, in this formulation, is strictly about bargaining and convincing other political actors to do things the president cannot accomplish alone. Power without Persuasion argues otherwise. Focusing on presidents' ability to act unilaterally, William Howell provides the most theoretically substantial and far-reaching reevaluation of presidential power in many years. He argues that presidents regularly set public policies over vocal objections by Congress, interest groups, and the bureaucracy.

Throughout U.S. history, going back to the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, presidents have set landmark policies on their own. More recently, Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans during World War II, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, Johnson got affirmative action underway, Reagan greatly expanded the president's powers of regulatory review, and Clinton extended protections to millions of acres of public lands. Since September 11, Bush has created a new cabinet post and constructed a parallel judicial system to try suspected terrorists.

Howell not only presents numerous new empirical findings but goes well beyond the theoretical scope of previous studies. Drawing richly on game theory and the new institutionalism, he examines the political conditions under which presidents can change policy without congressional or judicial consent. Clearly written, Power without Persuasion asserts a compelling new formulation of presidential power, one whose implications will resound.

For four decades after World War II, U.S. Special Operations Forces—including Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Air Force special operations aircrews and Special Tactics Group—suffered from mistrust and inadequate funding from the military services. They were nearly eliminated from the active force following the Vietnam War. But in the past fifteen years, special operations forces have risen from the ashes of the failed 1980 rescue of American hostages in Iran to become one of the most frequently deployed elements of the U.S. military. They are now adequately funded, better-equipped, and well-trained. Special operations forces are often the nation's first military response when faced with a crisis in today's uncertain and unstable international security environment.

What caused this dramatic turnaround? As this book shows, it was a long way from congressional outrage at TV images of burned bodies of U.S. servicemen in the Iranian desert to the establishment of a special operations force of nearly 45,000 active and reserve personnel. The drama of how this happened sheds light on how public policy is made and implemented. It illustrates the complex interaction between internal forces within the special operations community, as well as between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government. The implementation of legislation establishing a special operations capability is seen to rebuild and protect these forces to an extent never imagined by the early "quiet professionals."

While offering insights into how the U.S. government makes policy, Susan Marquis also offers a revealing look at the special operations community, including their storied past, extreme training, and recent operational experience that continues to forge their distinctive organizational mission and culture. She describes the decade-long struggle to rebuild special operations forces, resulting in new SOF organizations with independence that is unique among U.S. military forces, an independence approaching that of a new military service.

Fundamentals of Manufacturing, Third Edition provides a structured review of the fundamentals of manufacturing for individuals planning to take SME'S Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) or Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) certification exams. This book has been updated according to the most recent Body of Knowledge published by the Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

While the objective of this book is to prepare for the certification process, it is a primary source of information for individuals interested in learning fundamental manufacturing concepts and practices. This book is a valuable resource for anyone with limited manufacturing experience or training. 

Instructor slides and the Fundamentals of Manufacturing Workbook are available to complement course instruction and exam preparation.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Mathematics
Chapter 2: Units of Measure
Chapter 3: Light
Chapter 4: Sound
Chapter 5: Electricity/Electronics
Chapter 6: Statics
Chapter 7: Dynamics
Chapter 8: Strength of Materials
Chapter 9: Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
Chapter 10: Fluid Power
Chapter 11: Chemistry
Chapter 12: Material Properties
Chapter 13: Metals
Chapter 14: Plastics
Chapter 15: Composites
Chapter 16: Ceramics
Chapter 17: Engineering Drawing
Chapter 18: Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
Chapter 19: Computer-Aided Design/Engineering
Chapter 20: Product Development and Design
Chapter 21: Intelllectual Property
Chapter 22: Product Liability
Chapter 23: Cutting Tool Technology
Chapter 24: Machining
Chapter 25: Metal Forming
Chapter 26: Sheet Metalworking
Chapter 27: Powdered Metals
Chapter 28: Casting
Chapter 29: Joining and Fastening
Chapter 30: Finishing
Chapter 31: Plastics Processes
Chapter 32: Composite Processes
Chapter 33: Ceramic Processes
Chapter 34: Printed Circuit Board Fabrication and Assembly
Chapter 35: Traditional Production Planning and Control
Chapter 36: Lean Production
Chapter 37: Process Engineering
Chapter 38: Fixture and Jig Design
Chapter 39: Materials Management
Chapter 40: Industrial Safety, Health and Environmental Management
Chapter 41: Manufacturing Networks
Chapter 42: Computer Numerical Control Machining
Chapter 43: Programmable Logic Controllers
Chapter 44: Robotics
Chapter 45: Automated Material Handling and Identification
Chapter 46: Statistical Methods for Quality Control
Chapter 47: Continuous Improvement
Chapter 48: Quality Standards
Chapter 49: Dimensional Metrology
Chapter 50: Nondestructive Testing
Chapter 51: Management Introduction
Chapter 52: Leadership and Motivation
Chapter 53: Project Management
Chapter 54: Labor Relations
Chapter 55: Engineering Economics
Chapter 56: Sustainable Manufacturing
Chapter 57: Personal Effectiveness

“Keep your government hands off my Medicare!” Such comments spotlight a central question animating Suzanne Mettler’s provocative and timely book: why are many Americans unaware of government social benefits and so hostile to them in principle, even though they receive them? The Obama administration has been roundly criticized for its inability to convey how much it has accomplished for ordinary citizens. Mettler argues that this difficulty is not merely a failure of communication; rather it is endemic to the formidable presence of the “submerged state.”

In recent decades, federal policymakers have increasingly shunned the outright disbursing of benefits to individuals and families and favored instead less visible and more indirect incentives and subsidies, from tax breaks to payments for services to private companies. These submerged policies, Mettler shows, obscure the role of government and exaggerate that of the market. As a result, citizens are unaware not only of the benefits they receive, but of the massive advantages given to powerful interests, such as insurance companies and the financial industry. Neither do they realize that the policies of the submerged state shower their largest benefits on the most affluent Americans, exacerbating inequality. Mettler analyzes three Obama reforms—student aid, tax relief, and health care—to reveal the submerged state and its consequences, demonstrating how structurally difficult it is to enact policy reforms and even to obtain public recognition for achieving them. She concludes with recommendations for reform to help make hidden policies more visible and governance more comprehensible to all Americans.

The sad truth is that many American citizens do not know how major social programs work—or even whether they benefit from them. Suzanne Mettler’s important new book will bring government policies back to the surface and encourage citizens to reclaim their voice in the political process.
All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power--acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations--exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution--sets presidents apart from other political actors. Thinking about the Presidency explores presidents' preoccupation with power. Distinguished presidential scholar William Howell looks at the key aspects of executive power--political and constitutional origins, philosophical underpinnings, manifestations in contemporary political life, implications for political reform, and looming influences over the standards to which we hold those individuals elected to America's highest office.

Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself--and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized--in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House.

Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation. In a new preface, Howell reflects on presidential power during the presidency of Barack Obama.

As the central feature on the American political landscape, it is only natural that scholars and commentators focus on the presidency. So much is written about the subject, in fact, that it is often difficult to know where we stand in our understanding of it. The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency will help scholars assess the state of scholarship on the presidency and the directions in which it needs to move. Never before has the academic literature on the American presidency received such an extended treatment. Nearly three dozen chapters critically assess both the major contributions to a literature on a dimension of the presidency and the ways in which the literature has developed. The authors of each chapter seek to identify weaknesses in the existing literature- be they logical flaws, methodological errors, oversights, or some combination therein-and to offer their views about especially productive lines of future inquiry. Equally important, the authors also identify areas of research that are unlikely to bear additional fruits. These chapters offer a distinctive point of view, an argument about the successes and failures of past scholarship, and a set of recommendations about how future work ought to develop. Thus, this volume will help set the agenda for research on the presidency for the next decade. The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics are a set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of scholarship on American politics. Each volume focuses on a particular aspect of the field. The project is under the General Editorship of George C. Edwards III, and distinguished specialists in their respective fields edit each volume. The Handbooks aim not just to report on the discipline, but also to shape it as scholars critically assess the scholarship on a topic and propose directions in which it needs to move. The series is an indispensable reference for anyone working in American politics. General Editor for The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics: George C. Edwards III.
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