Presidential Wars With No Congressional Declarations
Under the definitions of war and co-belligerency referenced above, the United States is fighting nine known presidential wars with no congressional declarations in violation of the Declare War Clause. In none of these conflicts has Congress declared war or otherwise by statute or joint resolution made a decision to change the condition of the nation from a state of peace to war.
Unknown Presidential Wars
The known presidential wars may not be exhaustive. Experience teaches that presidents commonly resort to secret wars. Examples include the secret war in Laos (1963-1975), and the secret bombing of Cambodia (1969-1973). At present, the President controls tens of thousands of Special Operations Forces (SOF) may have been deployed to fight secret wars as co-belligerents with allies. Congress should hold hearings in executive session or otherwise to discover the President’s use of SOF.