President Obama is considering asking Congress to authorize military action against the Islamic State/ISIS.
The Obama administration is considering seeking congressional authorization for military action against the Islamic State under a revamped counterterrorism strategy President Obama announced last year.
A mandate from Congress could provide domestic legal justification for the unlimited use of force against the Sunni Muslim group across Iraq and Syria, a senior administration official said. Congress last formally authorized such action in 2001, against al-Qaeda and its associates, and 2002, against Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
The new authorization is one of several alternatives under active internal discussion as the administration grapples with whether and how to try to militarily defeat the Islamic State, which controls a wide swath of territory between Damascus and Baghdad.The “range of options” for direct use of the U.S. military includes temporary authority under the War Powers Resolution, constitutional authority for emergency action to protect U.S. citizens, and “having that discussion with Congress” about a more open-ended authorization to combat the Islamic State, the official said.
Obama has ordered airstrikes in Iraq under the first option, good for 60 days until early October. The second option was used this summer to launch a failed rescue attempt of American hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria. The third would entail a debate with an uncertain outcome among lawmakers with widely divergent views on presidential powers and overseas military action.
Yes, we’re war weary. But don’t we need to do this?