After the Rubicon: Congress, Presidents, and the Politics of Waging War

Paperback | December 1, 2010

byDouglas L. Kriner

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When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have proclaimed its irrelevance in military matters.

After the Rubicon
challenges this conventional wisdom by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators influence the conduct of military affairs. Douglas L. Kriner reveals that even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course.

Marshalling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, Kriner expertly demonstrates the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions and sheds new light on the timely issue of interbranch relations.

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When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents...

Douglas L. Kriner is assistant professor of political science at Boston University and coauthor of The Casualty Gap: The Causes and Consequences of American Wartime Inequalities.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:December 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226453561

ISBN - 13:9780226453569

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 Introduction: Domestic Politics and Waging War  
Chapter 2 Mechanisms of Congressional Influence
Chapter 3 Partisan Politics and the Initiation, Scale, and Duration of War
Chapter 4 Congressional Actions and the Conduct of War
Chapter 5 “Sitting Ducks”: Marines in Beirut, 1982–84
Chapter 6 The Logic of Congressional Action
Chapter 7 Conclusion: Congressional Constraints and the War on Terror

References
Index

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles, 2011