Obama Sends War Authorization Request to Congress
- Authorization would last for three years
- Intended for the military action in Iraq and Syria, the authorization carries no geographic limitations
- The authorization is also not limited to using force against ISIS/Islamic State. It would authorize military force against all “associated persons and forces”
- White House letter to Congress says ground troops to be used to “take military action against ISIL leadership”
- Authorization envisions no “enduring offensive ground combat operations”, whatever that means, but the implication that it means ‘boots on the ground‘ is pretty clear
- Meanwwhile, the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force — George Bush’s license for permanent war — remains on the books
The White House today sent a request to Congress to pass a new Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and “associated persons or forces”. The request comes six months after the US launched its continuing air offensive in Iraq and Syria.The request is for a three-year authorization.
Boots on the ground? The White House and many others have taked about the need to keep US ground forces out the of the conflict. But there are already 3,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. Worse still, the requested authorization includes language that promises no “enduring offensive ground comabt operations”. That is very vague language, but it clearly implies the anticipated use of US ground forces in the conflict. So does language in an accompanying letter from the White House that foresees US ground forces being used “to take military action against ISIL leadership”.
Everywhere and everyone? Like the AUMF that gave George Bush carte blanche permission to wage his war on terror anywhere in the world and against anyone identified as a potential terrorist threat, the new AUMF also fails to define any geographic limits to the authorization and clearly states that force can be used against any Islamic State “associated persons or forces.” It’s another open-ended authorization to conduct war anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, the endless war continues. The open-ended authorization to conduct war anywhere in the world that was passed by Congress in 2001 remains in effect. President Obama even cited that 13-year old AUMF in his letter to COngress, claiming he dioesn’t really need a new AUMF because “existing statutes provide me with the authority I need.” Instead, he said he was inviting Congress “to join me in supporting our national security.”
Every US bomb is a recruitment tool for Islamic State. The decades long history of the US meddling in and outright bombing Muslim countries in the region is precisely why there is an enduring, seething resentment and hatred of the US that drives people to horrible acts. It is time the US got out of the region and let the people who live there take control of their own lives — even in a time of crisis.
Why must “we” take action? A key element of US foreign policy has always been providing weapons to its allies. s a result, Saudi Arabia has 460 attack aircraft and 72 rocket launchers. One of the countries most threatened by the Islamic State, Jordan, has 116 attack aircarft and 88 rocket launchers.
It’s time for the US to put away the bombs and get out the blankets. Urgently needed humanitarian aid for the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the fighting in Syria would go a long, long way to countering IS’s anti-US rhetoric. If we helped the vitims of war rather than helping to create more victims, the US could start to reverse its reputation in the region and stifle ther recruiting messages of anti-US forces.
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