Under the Constitution of the United States, the President is responsible for prosecuting war and directing the armed military conflicts, including attacks upon the nation. Congress is constitutionally empowered to declare war, may otherwise authorize the involvement of American armed forces in military conflict, appropriate funds for government activities and operations, including military actions, and engages in oversight to assess the extent to which government operations have been efficiently, economically and effectively conducted using appropriated funds. Congress also has a role in prescribing intelligence and foreign policy.
In order to meet these responsibilities, Congress needs to be kept aware by the executive branch leaders of all the latest developments and actions that are taking place. Consequently, when on October 5, 2001, George W. Bush sent a memorandum to top diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement officials that emphasized the restriction of information disclosures to Congress, this installment drew fire from various quarters of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Despite the speedy removal of the restrictive policy by the President, questions surfaced pertaining to the executive branches role in times of war and military conflict in informing Congress regarding American involvement in such events. This book, which is intended to provide background information, also sheds light with a brief review explaining the executive-congressional relations in this regard for 1941-2001.