Skip to main content

Cooper‐Church Amendment

Cooper‐Church Amendment (1970).During the Vietnam War, President Richard M. Nixon on 30 April 1970 ordered American and South Vietnamese troops to invade Cambodia in order to attack North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front sanctuaries. Nixon defended his action as necessary to carry out his Vietnamization program. In protest, Senators John Sherman Cooper (R‐Ky.) and Frank Church (D‐Idaho) introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Foreign Military Sales Act to prohibit the use of American forces in Cambodia after 30 June 1970.

By 1970, the nation was deeply divided concerning the wisdom of the war in Southeast Asia. Senate opposition had been building since 1965, but most members of Congress still yielded to the president. The invasion of Cambodia proved to be the pivotal point for change. In addition to the time limit for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Cambodia, the Cooper‐Church Amendment barred the reintroduction of forces into that nation without express congressional approval. The Nixon administration strove to limit the impact of the proposal, chiefly through a series of modifications sponsored by Robert Dole (R‐Kans.) and Robert Byrd (D‐W. Va.) that would have allowed broad presidential discretion over the deployment of military forces. However, on 30 June the Senate adopted the original amendment in a historic vote of 58 to 37. Under heavy pressure from the White House to weaken the amendment, the House of Representatives did approve a weakened measure in December. The passage of the Cooper‐Church Amendment was a milestone in congressional‐presidential relations, the first time that the Congress had restricted the deployment of U.S. troops during a war. After 1970, congressional debate was now not on whether to withdraw troops from the Vietnam War, but when.

Bibliography

LeRoy Ashby and and Rod Gramer , Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church, 1994.
Randall Bennett Woods , Fulbright, 1995.

David F. Schmitz

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cooper‐Church Amendment." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cooper‐Church Amendment." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cooper-church-amendment

"Cooper‐Church Amendment." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved November 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cooper-church-amendment

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.