Obama to seek congressional authority in fight against ISIS

Last August, the U.S. began dropping bombs in Iraq and Syria to combat the militant Islamic group ISIS. Now, President Obama is poised to ask for congressional war power in that fight. 

The New York Times reports:

The Obama administration has informed lawmakers that the president will seek a formal authorization to fight the Islamic State that would prohibit the use of “enduring offensive ground forces” and limit engagement to three years. The approach offers what the White House hopes is a middle way on Capitol Hill for those on the right and left who remain deeply skeptical of its plans to thwart extremist groups.

The request, which could come in writing as early as Wednesday morning, would open what is expected to be a monthslong debate over presidential war powers and the wisdom of committing to another unpredictable mission in the Middle East while the nation is still struggling with the consequences of two prolonged wars.

"After more than a decade of war and 7,000 American military lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan," the Times reports, "President Obama will face doubts not only from Democrats who want stricter limitations set on where he can send troops and how long his authority will last, but also from Republicans, who are dubious of the administration’s strategy for defeating the Islamic State extremist group."

The resolution would allow the U.S. to expand the fight against ISIS to include “associated forces,” the Times reports, and would contain "no geographic limitations."

[Vinnie Rotondaro is NCR national correspondent. His email addresss is vrotondaro@ncronline.org.]

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