Joining General Joseph Dunford (USMC), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday it is incumbent upon Congress to parlay and vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the struggle against ISIS.
President Obama sent an AUMF request to Congress in February 2015, but neither chamber has acted on the request.
“I absolutely believe that a clear and unequivocal statement of support for the men and women that are prosecuting the campaign and our allies from their elected officials would be absolutely helpful,” said Dunford.
While emphasizing both the White House’s and the Pentagon’s desire to act within the law and have Congress furnish an authorization to fight ISIS, Carter informed the Committee that the Pentagon recently assented to sending special operations troops to Iraq to fight ISIS.
Although the ability to declare war rests entirely with Congress, the White House has at times reminded Congress it can and will act militarily against ISIS by relying on similar congressional authorizations issued in 2001 to fight al-Qaeda and 2002 which authorized the war in Iraq.
Why does it require an appearance from Mr. Carter and General Dunford to appeal to Congress to approve an AUMF when the President requested one earlier this year?
With almost a pathological fixation, and for the better part of 2015, the GOP has endlessly bemoaned President Obama’s lack of coherent strategy in the fight against ISIS.
Similarly, the GOP has also spent an exasperating amount of time assailing Mr. Obama for his inclination to resort to Executive Action on matters which they consistently claim require congressional partnership.
While Mr. Obama can be credibly accused of being staggeringly incompetent and clutching a flawed, self-defeating anti-ISIS plan, it is entirely hypocritical of the GOP, in control of both chambers of Congress, to call for more aggressive measures against ISIS and simultaneously exercising dilatory tactics while eviscerating the White House for lacking vision against the Islamic State.
A significant instrument of the defense of this nation is cooperation on critical matters; Congress should not be a hindrance in a time of global emergency.
[Reuters] [Photo courtesy Indianexpress.com]