What is important is that you demonstrate the capacity to discuss all sides of the problem which is the scope of the President’s authority to deploy armed forced unilaterally.


Your final product may be no longer than two, double spaced, typed pages. You are permitted to do it with a partner. The two partners’ names shall appear on the top of the first page and each will receive the same grade regardless of the contribution each partner. You may NOT complete the assignment with the person whom you worked on a previous exercise.

Each paper should consist of no more than 7 paragraphs. The first and last paragraphs should introduce and summarize your analysis. The “middle paragraphs” should be the essence of the paper. One sentence (generally the last one) in each of the middle paragraphs should either be in bold or underlined to emphasize the main point of the paragraph. You should write those “main point” sentences first. Then build your middle paragraphs around each of them. Finally after you complete the middle paragraphs, draft your first and last paragraphs, to provide structure for the middle paragraphs.

No paragraph should be longer than 6 sentences. Most will be around four sentences. Most sentences should be no longer than 8 words.

The exercise requires no research. Since the problem is largely fictional and hypothetical, research would probably be more counterproductive than helpful. It is mandatory for all students. No late papers will be accepted. Keep a copy of your paper in the event your original is misplaced.

PROBLEM Assume that Congress enacted and the President signed legislation authorizing the U. S. security forces to deploy “drones” to drop bombs on suspected terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq. The authorization was limited to six months. Where drone strikes have been used elsewhere in the Middle East they have killed large numbers of civilians. The strikes have stirred deep resentment in the Middle East and generally contributed to a negative perception of the United States. Amnesty International, a prominent human rights advocacy group, found that a disproportionate number of victims were unarmed and alleged that some strikes amounted to war crimes.

The six month authorization for drone warfare is coming to an end. American security forces wish to continue the program rather than subject American pilots to the risk of counterattacks from surface to air missiles. Military strategists believe that drone strikes are essential to weakening the terrorist cells.

However Congress is wary of continuing the drone program particularly as European allies have recoiled at reports of civilian deaths. Congress has not voted to repeal the program. Rather it has refused to renew it, or authorize any funding to continue it. The President, deferring to the arguments of the leaders of US security forces, has authorized the continued use of drone strikes.

Assume that dissidents within the American military, unhappy with the President’s drone strike policy and fearing that they could be prosecuted for war crimes for their participation in the program, have sued the President to end the program. They argue that the President lacks the authority to order the drone strikes without Congressional authorization.

Identify, beginning by referring to specific, relevant provisions of the Constitution and doctrines which emerge from those provisions, arguments supporting and opposing the President’s position that he has the unilateral authority to order drone strikes. Your conclusion as to whether the President has the authority is NOT important. What is important is that you demonstrate the capacity to discuss all sides of the problem which is the scope of the President’s authority to deploy armed forced unilaterally.

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