By David P. Auerswald
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Additional info for Disarmed Democracies: Domestic Institutions and the Use of Force
16 In some democracies, executives can initiate con›ict and maintain total control over subsequent con›ict decisions regardless of the preferences of other domestic actors. All else being equal, these executives have tremendous domestic ›exibility. An ideal type of total executive agenda control would have three characteristics. First, the executive would possess defensive ex ante veto power over the use of force. Deciding when force should not be used is a prerequisite of agenda control for any chief executive.
A dovish legislature could prevent military con›ict or otherwise constrain the executive. After all, the third component of agenda control (missing from these executives) is the ability to prevent or veto legislative alternatives to using force. Executives should hesitate to use force or make threats in those instances because they could always ‹nd their con›ict initiative overturned. Legislative opposition is less likely if both the executive and the legislature are hawkish, yet a hawkish executive cannot always count on permanent legislative support.
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution (S. J. Res. 45) on February 4 authorizing the president to use all necessary means to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief. 22 The legislature had signaled its support for the executive’s deployment. 25 The measure passed the Senate with broad support (90–7) on September 9. S. S. S. ground troops. 27 Clinton had broken his side of the congressionally mandated agreement, possibly to achieve the compromise goals in the time allotted him by Congress.