SAT Subject US History Practice Question 756: Answer and Explanation
17. Although Congress had not declared war, President Truman sent U.S. armed forces to aid South Korea-an action he believed the he was empowered to take based on
A. powers granted presidents in the United Nations Charter.
B. a joint resolution of Congress.
C. a constitutional power of the presidency.
D. a special U.S. treaty with South Korea.
E. the U.S. commitment under the NATO agreement.
Correct Answer: C
Under his constitutional power as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the president has the authority to order troops into combat. The U.S. president has no power under the U.N. Charter (A), although the U.N. Charter was used as the legal basis for the American military involvement in the Korean War. No congressional resolution was passed at the onset of the Korean War (B). The United States had no mutual security treaty with Korea (D). Korea was not a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (E).