26 September 2001
Text: Bush Letter to Congress on Troop Deployments Abroad
(Sends letter pursuant to War Powers Resolution) (580)
President Bush September 24, in accordance with the War Powers
Resolution, formally notified Congress of unspecified U.S. military
troop deployments outside the United States in response to the
terrorist attacks of September 11.
In the notification, Bush stated that he was acting in conformity with
the Senate Joint Resolution authorizing the use of force, which he
signed on September 18.
The president noted in the letter that he "may find it necessary to
order additional forces" abroad, and that it is "not now possible to
predict the scope and duration of these deployments."
Unlike his message when signing the joint resolution, this letter does
not mention the longstanding executive branch position that the War
Powers Resolution, passed in 1973 during U.S. involvement in Vietnam,
The War Powers Resolution gives the president limited authority to use
military force in specified situations, but requires Congressional
authority to expand action into a full-scale war. Congress has not
approved a declaration of war since the outbreak of World War II in
Following is the text of the president's letter to Congress:
THE WHITE HOUSE
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
September 24, 2001
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On the morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four U.S.
commercial airliners. These terrorists coldly murdered thousands of
innocent people on those airliners and on the ground, and deliberately
destroyed the towers of the World Trade Center and surrounding
buildings and a portion of the Pentagon.
In response to these attacks on our territory, our citizens, and our
way of life, I ordered the deployment of various combat-equipped and
combat support forces to a number of foreign nations in the Central
and Pacific Command areas of operations. In the future, as we act to
prevent and deter terrorism, I may find it necessary to order
additional forces into these and other areas of the world, including
into foreign nations where U.S. Armed Forces are already located.
I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to
conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief
Executive. It is not now possible to predict the scope and duration of
these deployments, and the actions necessary to counter the terrorist
threat to the United States. It is likely that the American campaign
against terrorism will be a lengthy one.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress
informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution and Senate Joint
Resolution 23, which I signed on September 18, 2001. As you know,
officials of my Administration and I have been regularly communicating
with the leadership and other Members of Congress about the actions we
are taking to respond to the threat of terrorism and we will continue
to do so. I appreciate the continuing support of the Congress,
including its passage of Senate Joint Resolution 23, in this action to
protect the security of the United States of America and its citizens,
civilian and military, here and abroad.
GEORGE W. BUSH
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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