Lawmakers Disagree over Obama’s Military Force Request Against ISIS

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.

Special Report Grapevine: Follow Your Nose

No Girls Allowed: Iceland is announcing a United Nations conference on women and gender equality that will not invite any women.  The all-male session is being dubbed the barbershop conference - by the country's foreign affairs minister, who touts it as a one-of-a-kind meeting.
 
"We want to bring men and boys to the table on gender equality in a positive way."
 
The event is part of a global campaign to get 100,000d men and boys involved in the issue. Critics say it will lead to a one-sided conversation. 
 
Think Again: If you are looking for a vacation spot off the beaten path why not give Syria a try? Believe it or not Bloomberg reports the country torn apart by a civil war and invaded by ruthless ISIS terrorists is counting on tourism for a major economic shot in the arm. The US government is not high on the idea.
 
"The Department of State continues to warn US citizens against travel to Syria. No part of Syria should be considered safe from violence." 
 
Follow Your Nose: Finally, the Grapevine is all for personal hygiene, but there are some lifestyles where it just gets in the way. Oregon police officers were able to capture a suspect who had  eluded them in a high speed chase thanks to his cologne. After giving the law the slip Charles Agosto ditched his car and fled on foot. The Albany Democrat-Herald reports that's when officers caught a strong scent of cologne in the darkness that led them to Agosto hiding in shrubbery. The scented perp was jailed on a plethora of charges -- including probation violation and criminal trespass. He told the officers he regretted using the cologne before he left his house.
 

Female Pilot Leads Airstrikes Against ISIS

FOX News can confirm that the first female pilot for the UAE served as the team leader in the U.S. led coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

Major Mariam Al Mansouri is the first woman to join the Emirati Air Force—a dream she has held since she was a teenager.  She graduated from the academy in 2008 and now serves as a squadron commander, piloting F-16 fighter jets.

Al Mansouri, 35, is the first woman from an Arab nation to fly a mission-- dropping bombs on Sunni terrorists.  

The United States and five Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, launched a series of airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Syria. 

 

U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

Senator Inhofe "one size fits all" approach will not work in Iraq/Syria

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the White House strategy in Iraq and Syria by raising publicly, a point that is being discussed privately, and widely in military and intelligence circles.

Inhofe said the administration’s position that they will employ the same strategy used in Yemen and Somalia, does not acknowledge the clear differences in the adversary, ISIS, and conditions on the ground.

Yemen is a government that has given tacit approval to the US drone campaign and Somalia lacks a coherent government to object to the campaign. Inhofe says this cookie cutter approach by the President does not recognize that ISIS holds more territory (size of Great Britain), has more money, has 10-thousands of fighters, and in both Iraq and Syria there are functioning governments, and in Syria an air defense system.

While the targeted killing campaign has taken out leadership in Yemen and Somalia, both groups have found ways to replace.  By example, al-Shabaab replaced Godane who was killed in an airstrike earlier this  month – within days.

Steven Sotloff

A video purporting to show the beheading of 31 year old US journalist Steven Sotloff has been released online by ISIS. The video titled "A Second Message to America," also threatens the life of British captive David Haines.

Sotloff was kidnapped in 2013 near Aleppo after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The National Interest, Media Line, World Affairs, and Foreign Policy Magazine. 

Sotloff grew up in South Florida and attended the University of Central Florida with a major in journalism. 

Earlier this year a video was released by the terrorist organization ISIS titled "A Message to America," showing the brutal murder by beheading of US journalist James Foley. In the video ISIS delivers a message to President Obama, stating the president's next move would decide Sotloff's fate. Following the video the United States increased airstrikes against ISIS. 

The new video features Sotloff speaking into the camera, saying he is "paying the price" for U.S. intervention. It is important to note that as a prisoner his words may very well have been scripted. 

A spokesperson for the Sotloff family released a statement about the video and stated the family is "grieving privately."

Our hearts and our prayers go out his family and friends at this time. We are deeply saddened by this terrible news. 

President Obama Proposes $500 Million To Aid Syrian Rebels

The White House sent Congress a $500 million request Thursday for a Pentagon-run program that would significantly expand previous covert efforts to arm rebels fighting both the Sunni extremists and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

If approved by lawmakers, the program would in effect open a second front in the fight against militants spilling over Syria's border and threatening to overwhelm neighboring Iraq.

President Obama has long been reluctant to arm the Syrian opposition, in part because of concerns that weapons may fall into extremist hands. But administration officials say the U.S. has grown increasingly confident in recent months about its ability to distinguish the moderate rebels from the more extremist elements that include the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has stormed into Iraq and captured much of the northern part of the country.

Jennifer Griffin has more tonight on Special Report

ISIS: What's Next?

A picture is emerging of consistent and persistent warnings by the intelligence community about ISIS and a failure to heed or act on the warnings with congressional sources telling Fox air strikes a month ago when ISIS was still in camps on the Syrian border were a missed opportunity. 

Sunni extremists took over a border crossing between Iraq and Syria over the weekend leaving ISIS's threat closing in on the country. Yesterday, Syria reportedly responded with air strikes, killing 50+people. 

After a classified briefing late Tuesday, Senators described ISIS as a direct threat to the US, warning that Jordan is likely next as well as the Balad air base, Iraq's largest and former HQ for US forces. For now, the United States is taking a less aggressive approach, but pressure continues to mount against a growing regional threat

Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Iraq earlier in the week to meet with leaders and encourage a more inclusive government. Today he is in Brussels to attend a NATO meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Iraq. Kerry has presently ruled out US air strikes--

James Rosen is traveling with Secretary Kerry and will have more for us tonight on Special Report. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad interview tonight on Special Report

FOX News will present a two-hour edition of Special Report with Bret Baier this evening from 6-8 PM/ET. The interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was conducted by FNC Senior Correspondent Greg Palkot and FNC contributor Dennis Kucinich and will run from 6:30-7:30PM/ET, followed by a panel of analysis from 7:30-8PM/ET. Moderated by Baier, the panel will include Stephen Hayes, Charles Krauthammer and Juan Williams. 

 

Your Questions Answered: Benghazi, Syria & Bret's Son

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