According to the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution wars are declared by the American Congress. In the words of the US Constitution:
However, the American Congress has never declared war since World War II. While this may spark a debated about the constitutionality of American foreign actions, one should keep in mind that the Korean War was sanctioned by the UN as a “police action” and every war since Vietnam has been justified in some form with the War Powers Resolution.
Just take the Iraq War, which could be known as the Iraq Emergency Action if the propagandists bothered to hide the truth of the matter. President George W. Bush stated that the actions in Iraq were necessary due to the potential of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which was proven to be false (see America and Militarism). This logic proves quite loose at times, especially since the above example has not ceased despite the clearly proven falsehood it was based on.
This loophole in the law, combined with the need to collect energy resources, are the driving factors behind continued American military actions overseas. One should take into account the ambiguity of what an “emergency” entails before thousands of dead bodies, American and not, pile in foreign lands.