Kerry: New war powers need to give president flexibility in fighting Islamic State

Secretary of State John Kerry says a new congressional authorization for U.S. military operations against the Islamic State should not be limited to Iraq and Syria and should not bind President Barack Obama from ever deploying ground troops against the group if necessary.

Kerry spoke Tuesday at a hearing on updating legal justifications for the current U.S. military operations.

Obama is using congressional authorizations that former President George W. Bush relied on after 9/11 — ones that critics say are a legal stretch at best.

Kerry says he doesn't think U.S. military action will extend beyond Iraq and Syria, but that it would be a mistake to tell extremist militants that there are safe havens outside the two countries.