Congress and United States Foreign Policy

Controlling the Use of Force in the Nuclear Age

Edited by Michael Barnhart

Subjects: United States Foreign Policy
Paperback : 9780887064661, 196 pages, July 1987
Hardcover : 9780887064654, 196 pages, July 1987

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Table of contents


I. Congress and the War Power

Ann-Marie Scheidt

1. The Origins of the War Power Provision of the Constitution
William Conrad Gibbons

2. Not For the First Times: Antecedents and Origins of the War Powers Resolution, 1945-1970
Duane Tananbaum

3. The Debate Over the War Powers Resolution
Jacob K. Javits

4. The Impact of the War Powers Resolution
John H. Sullivan

II. Congress and Arms Limitation


5. With the Advice and Consent of the Senate: The Treaty-Making Process before the Cold War Years
Wayne S. Cole

6. The Senate, Detente, and SALT I
Robert D. Schulzinger

7. Constraining SALT II: The Role of the Senate
Stanley J. Heginbotham

III. Congress and the Executive: Oversight and Dissent


8. What the Founding Fathers Intended: Congressional-Executive Relations in the Early American Republic
DAvid M. Pletcher

9.Military Assistance and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Congress
Chester J. Pach, Jr.

10. Oversight or Afterview?: Congress, the CIA, and Covert Actions since 1947
Thomas G. Paterson

11. The Executive, Congress, and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975
George C. Herring


This book directly explores congressional efforts to control the ability of the Chief Executive to use force. It examines the influence Congress has wielded over nuclear arms control, and reveals how Congress has operated to channel American military assistance, covert actions, and open warfare over the past forty years.


Congress has become increasingly assertive in the exercise of its war powers. No longer content to write the President blank checks such as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution that helped lead to intervention in Vietnam, Congress has revived and constructed a variety of mechanisms to control America's use of force abroad. This is the first sustained, focused analysis by America's foremost historians and policy analysts of how Congress directs U.S. foreign policy on aggression.

Michael Barnhart is Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.