President Barack Obama on Wednesday submitted to Congress draft legislation that will allow military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), explaining that the attacks need to occur due to the ability of ISIS to “pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including the United States homeland.”
In the draft legislation, the President remained vague on some aspects of the mission, in order to please both parties in Congress. While Democrats are unsure of how much time and money the United States should spend fighting ISIS, Republicans want language in the legislation stating that the President and Congress reserves the right to use ground troops to fight in the battle, if need be.
Some of the vague statements in the draft include, “enduring offensive combat operations”, which the President ruled out. Analysts believe this was a carefully worded statement, as ruling out these specific types of operations could be interpreted as no ground troops at all or some ground troops for a specific period of time.
Also, the President wants to allow the resolution to remain intact for up to three years, and then be renewed if the battle against ISIS needs to continue. Moreover, Obama will convene with Congress once every six months for the duration of the operation to update lawmakers on the actions the United States has taken and what the future plans will be.
Another key proposal in the draft states no geographic limitations where American forces would be able to pursue the enemies. In other words, any other “associated persons or forces” working with ISIS, as the draft states, will not be safe if they reach another country.
The final item in the draft concerns the 2002 Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, which some Democrats see occurring again with the return to Iraq to fight ISIS. The President wishes to repeal the act, but will keep the 2001 authorization against al-Qaida in Afghanistan in place, for now.
Here, courtesy of The Hill, is a full draft of the legislation:
While Congress has not set a timetable for a vote on the draft legislation, high-ranking members are already speaking out.
House Speaker John Boehner (R), believed that it would not “give our military commanders the flexibility and authorities they need to succeed and protect our people.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images via The Hill