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U.S. National Security Processes

This authority includes the customs and practices of governmental decision-making as they have evolved since the late 18th Century and Supreme Court decisions in cases where executive and legislative authority collided (Corwin 1957, pp. 172-73).

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the President the powers of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the power to make treaties (with the advice and consent of the Senate), and the power to appoint government officials (including ambassadors). These three explicit powers form the basis for the President's authority in national security and foreign affairs. Many issues considered as falling under the rubric of national security are classified as such because they arise out of the President's authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. The treaty-making power very quickly led a member of the House of Representatives to state in 1799 that the President "is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations and its sole representative with foreign nations" (Corwin, 1957, p. 177). Since then, the president has attained the most crucial role in the foreign policy process: that of the "ultimate decider" and "decision-maker of last resort" (Crabb & Holt, 1992, p. 6).

The real basis for the President's powers over national security issues is the combination of the grant of power


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