Interpretation: Armed forces only include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard



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Interpretation: Armed forces only include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.


US Department of Defense, “United States Armed Forces,” Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 2005.

Used to denote collectively only the regular components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. See also Armed Forces of the United States.



Violation: Plan restricts private contractors introduction into hostilities – armed forces doesn’t include private contractors


Boston College Law Review, 2012

(“Restoring Constitutional Balance: Accommodating the Evolution of War”, November, 53 B.C. L. Rev 1767)

Furthermore, the War Powers Resolution is limited to U.S. Armed Forces, and does not apply to the CIA or other civilians at war. n322 This gap was acknowledged at the time the Resolution was drafted. n323 The CIA and civilian contractors have since become a larger part of American war fighting. n324 In fact, during the 2011 conflict in Libya, there were reports of CIA personnel on the ground. n325 Yet, since they were not military personnel, the Resolution did not apply. n326

Prefer our interpretation

1. Predictable limits: 5 branches of United States armed forces and subsections of those branches already provides substantial aff ground – expanding beyond ‘armed forces’ would include government civilians, CIA operatives, UAVS, and all other technological innovations explodes limits


Boston College Law Review, 2012

(“Restoring Constitutional Balance: Accommodating the Evolution of War”, November, 53 B.C. L. Rev 1767)



The scope of actors that fall within the War Powers Consultation proposal should be broadened. n344 The proposal currently is limited to "combat operation[s] by U.S. armed forces." n345 The legislation should be more expansive, and closer to the reality of modern war fighting, which is conducted by many actors in addition to the military. n346 This change could be accomplished by omitting the words "armed forces." n347 Therefore, the scope of the legislation should be modified to encompass "any combat operation by the United States." n348 This change to the proposed legislation would encompass military, government civilians, contractors, UAVs, and other technological innovations that act on behalf of the nation. n349

2. Historical precision: ‘Armed forces’ excludes private contractors – textual analysis, legislative history, and broad policy purposes prove. Exclusive interpretation should be preferred


Lorber, 12

(“EXECUTIVE WARMAKING AUTHORITY AND OFFENSIVE CYBER OPERATIONS: CAN EXISTING LEGISLATION SUCCESSFULLY CONSTRAIN PRESIDENTIAL POWER?” Journal of Constitution Law, Vol. 15:3. Eric Lorber∗ J.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Ph.D Candidate, Duke University Department of Political Science. 3/7/12 http://ssrn.com/abstract=2017036) KH



C. The War Powers Resolution as Applied to Offensive Cyber Operations

As discussed above, critical to the application of the War Powers Resolution—especially in the context of an offensive cyber operation—are the definitions of key terms, particularly armed forces,” as the relevant provisions of the Act are only triggered if the President “introduc[es armed forces] into hostilities or into situations [of] imminent . . . hostilities,”172 or if such forces are introduced “into the territory, airspace, or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces.”173 The requirements may also be triggered if the United States deploys armed forces “in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation.”174 As is evident, the definition of “armed forces” is crucial to deciphering whether the WPR applies in a particular circumstance to provide congressional leverage over executive actions. The definition of “hostilities,” which has garnered the majority of scholarly and political attention,175 particularly in the recent Libyan conflict,176 will be dealt with secondarily here because it only becomes important if “armed forces” exist in the situation. As is evident from a textual analysis,177 an examination of the legislative history,178 and the broad policy purposes behind the creation of the Act,179 armed forces” refers to U.S. soldiers and members of the armed forces, not weapon systems or capabilities such as offensive cyber weapons. Section 1547 does not specifically define “armed forces,” but it states that “the term ‘introduction of United States Armed Forces’ includes the assignment of members of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government.”180 While this definition pertains to the broader phrase “introduction of armed forces,” the clear implication is that only members of the armed forces count for the purposes of the definition under the WPR. Though not dispositive, the term “member” connotes a human individual who is part of an organization.181 Thus, it appears that the term “armed forces” means human members of the United States armed forces. However, there exist two potential complications with this reading. First, the language of the statute states that “the term ‘introduction of United States Armed Forces’ includes the assignment of members of such armed forces.”182 By using inclusionary—as opposed to exclusionary— language, one might argue that the term “armed forces” could include more than members. This argument is unconvincing however, given that a core principle of statutory interpretation, expressio unius, suggests that expression of one thing (i.e., members) implies the exclusion of others (such as non- members constituting armed forces).183 Second, the term “member” does not explicitly reference “humans,” and so could arguably refer to individual units and beings that are part of a larger whole (e.g., wolves can be members of a pack). As a result, though a textual analysis suggests that “armed forces” refers to human members of the armed forces, such a conclusion is not determinative. An examination of the legislative history also suggests that Congress clearly conceptualized “armed forces” as human members of the armed forces. For example, disputes over the term “armed forces” revolved around who could be considered members of the armed forces, not what constituted a member. Senator Thomas Eagleton, one of the Resolution’s architects, proposed an amendment during the process providing that the Resolution cover military officers on loan to a civilian agency (such as the Central Intelligence Agency).184 This amendment was dropped after encountering pushback,185 but the debate revolved around whether those military individuals on loan to the civilian agency were still members of the armed forces for the purposes of the WPR, suggesting that Congress considered the term to apply only to soldiers in the armed forces. Further, during the congressional hearings, the question of deployment of “armed forces” centered primarily on past U.S. deployment of troops to combat zones,186 suggesting that Congress conceptualized “armed forces” to mean U.S. combat troops.The broad purpose of the Resolution aimed to prevent the large-scale but unauthorized deployments of U.S. troops into hostilities.187 While examining the broad purpose of a legislative act is increasingly relied upon only after examining the text and legislative history, here it provides further support for those two alternate interpretive sources.188 As one scholar has noted, “[t]he War Powers Resolution, for example, is concerned with sending U.S. troops into harm’s way.”189 The historical context of the War Powers Resolution is also important in determining its broad purpose; as the resolutions submitted during the Vietnam War and in the lead-up to the passage of the WPR suggest, Congress was concerned about its ability to effectively regulate the President’s deployments of large numbers of U.S. troops to Southeast Asia,190 as well as prevent the President from authorizing troop incursions into countries in that region.191 The WPR was a reaction to the President’s continued deployments of these troops into combat zones, and as such suggests that Congress’s broad purpose was to prevent the unconstrained deployment of U.S. personnel, not weapons, into hostilities.

T is a voting issue: fairness, education, jurisdiction, and should be evaluated by CI.




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