By Ford Fischer, Special Report College Associate
On Wednesday, President Obama requested congressional approval for use of military force in a three-year military campaign against ISIS in the Middle East.
This is the first time Mr. Obama has requested congressional approval for military action, despite having conducted airstrikes in at least seven countries. In his request, he attempts to mitigate the concerns of war-averse citizens.
“My administration’s draft AUMF would not authorize long-term, large-scale ground combat operations like those our nation conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the president said.
Leaders in both parties remain skeptical. On the whole, Democrats seem to feel that the request includes too few restrictions on the possibility of perpetual war. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California expressed concerns about the plan, specifically boots on the ground.
Mr. Obama attempted to clarify, “The resolution is not the authorization of another ground war.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner described the plan as too limiting to the president’s ability to lead the military into war. Restrictions on the authorization Mr. Obama is requesting could also affect his successor. "I believe that if we are going to authorize the use of military force, the president should have all the tools necessary to win the fight that we are in,” Speaker Boehner said. "As you've heard me say over the last number of months, I am not sure that the strategy that has been outlined will accomplish the mission the president says he wants to accomplish.”
While expressing that the US needs to destroy the Islamic State, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky expressed concern that America’s foreign policy leaders, specifically Hillary Clinton, may have caused the turmoil leading us back into the region. “I think we have to do something about ISIS but you know why we’re doing something and why we have to be there again?” He said that America’s support for the war in Libya, which he referred to as “Hillary’s war,” helped destabilize the region.
Additionally, he adds that the US supporting Islamic rebels in Syria’s civil war has also had unintended consequences. “We and our allies sent 600 tons of weapons into that civil war,” Paul said. “Most of those weapons wound up in the hands of ISIS.”
President Obama’s new plan emphasizes the armament of local forces. Ensuring that weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands will likely become a primary point of concern over the next few years if Congress approves.