Ashton Carter, Obama’s new Secretary of Defense and a former Goldman Sachs adviser and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wants to expand the ISIS war beyond Syria and Iraq.
Carter told Congress it should grant the Pentagon the authority to strike the U.S.-trained terror group without any limits.
“The proposed AUMF wisely does not include any geographical restriction, because ISIL already shows signs of metastasizing outside of Syria and Iraq,” Carter said.
Obama introduced the new Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in November.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, said he does not know of any Democrats who support Obama’s war authorization request.
Republicans, on the other hand, believe the request is too limited.
The request for a three year authorization includes a vaguely defined limit on the use of ground troops.
As previously noted, the Obama administration designed the language of its unconstitutional AUMF to be vague.
John Earnest, the White House spokesman, said the proposal was left undefined “because we believe it’s important that there aren’t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander in chief.”
Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry said bipartisanship on the authorization is crucial. Kerry said passing the authorization on a party line vote would be worse than not passing it at all.
Despite partisan wrangling over the authorization, Kerry, Carter and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believe Obama has the legal authority to attack ISIS under to previous authorizations.
“The president already has statutory authority to act against ISIL,” Kerry said. “But a clear and formal expression of this Congress’s backing at this moment in time would dispel doubts that might exist anywhere that Americans are united in this effort.”
The authority to declare and wage war is clearly defined by Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution. Only Congress has the legal authority to declare war, not the executive as claimed by Kerry and the administration.
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