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Proper Declaration of War?


Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I think this could be an interesting thread with some current and historical discussion...

I'm curious of people's opinions on the United States' process to declare war. From what I understand, we haven't done it properly (along our guidelines) since World War II. Other large-scale military action from the United States is known as a "conflict" or "engagement."

What is your opinion on this? Is war Declaration an antiquated idea? Is it something that should always be active? Should power to declare war always be fairly split between The President/Commander-in-Chief and Congress, or are there times in which you feel this isn't needed?

A modern example is what is called "Operation Iraqi Freedom," which was engaged without formal declaration. Should the U.S. have declared war on Iraq? Did the War Powers Resolution cover that properly? Should it have done so?

Keep in mind that I'm more interested in hearing opinions not only on the war in Iraq, but on Declaration of War itself and how it has/hasn't been in the past, and on what you'd hope for any future situations (hopefully there won't be any!).
YouTube - War Were Declared
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Registered Member
I'm by no means an expert on any of this, but it seems to me that there's a definite loophole that people didn't intend to be there.


Registered Member
I'm surprised it was there in the first place. The element of surprise is so important in warfare. Without a declaration of war the attacker has a serious advantage. Imagine how WW2 would have proceeded if Hitler had properly declared war on the countries he invaded. He would have never managed to occupy Poland and any invasion plans of Russia would have failed right at the border (or what about the attack on Pearl Harbour?)

I guess in modern warfare it's very advantageous not to formally declare war, but even in antiquity, medieval times or the napoleonic age it must have yielded some results.
Perhaps the idea to make declarations of war stems from a time in which important powers where not seeking to destroy each other, but merely to achieve glory in battle.. in the end they were all satisfied with the status quo weren't they?
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