What Is One Power of the Federal Government?

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One power granted to the federal government is the ability to declare war. The power to declare war is granted to the national government through the Constitution. The Constitution affords the national government the right to declare war along with several other duties and reserves some rights to state governments as well.

The powers of the national government primarily extend to matters of national affairs and international concerns. The ability of the central government to declare war is a result of the signing of the Constitution. This power is granted to Congress, one of three branches of the federal government, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution. This clause gives Congress the right to declare war against all nations. It is supported by Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which names the president of the United States commander-in-chief of the armed forces. These powers are typically used simultaneously, although past presidents have occasionally declared war without receiving prior authorization from Congress. This exercise of presidential power, which was demonstrated in several military campaigns such as the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War and Operation Desert Storm, have raised questions and debate about whether presidents have the authority to make declarations of war absent approval from Congress.