In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced this bill to give the President flexibility in carrying out military action against ISIL — while still allowing Congress to have a consultative role:
war powers resolution from Congress should recognize the president’s
authority as Commander-in-Chief and provide the resources necessary to
defeat an enemy determined to destroy us. War strategy requires
flexibility, and Congress should not tie this and future presidents’
hands at a time when the ISIS threat is growing even more powerful and
dangerous… It is time for the President to be a leader and act
decisively. He needs to stand up to his own party and say, ‘I’m the
Commander-in-Chief. I’m coming to Congress for your support, and this is
what I need to win the war.’”
There are currently nine cosponsors of this legislation in the House, all of whom are Republicans.
Of Note: The growth of ISIS throughout Iraq and Syria
has left U.S. policymakers with difficult decisions to make in their
efforts to stop, and ultimately eliminate the group's influence in the region. The CIA estimated in the fall of 2014 that ISIS had between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters.
Much of ISIS' notoriety in the U.S. comes from the beheadings of several Americans and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities via military campaign. During the 113th Congress, two bills were introduced — one to end the AUMF against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and one to repeal the AUMF and declare war on ISIS — but neither was successful.
Beginning in August 2014, the U.S. began carrying out airstrikes
in Iraq, started arming the Kurdish Peshmerga, and eventually began
carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria. By mid-May 2015,
the U.S. had carried out over 3,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
During this time, the number of American ground troops sent to Iraq
has increased, with the first deployment raising troop levels to about
800 soldiers. Many of these soldiers were protecting the U.S. Embassy in
Baghdad (which employs more than 5,000 people), and other diplomatic outposts.
By February 2015, total troop levels in Iraq topped 3,000 after several deployments of about 1,000
troops each. These personnel are primarily tasked with training the
Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga, while also defending U.S.
diplomatic facilities. They are not engaging ISIS in ground combat,
although some participated in the evacuation of the Yazidis from a mountain where they had been surrounded by ISIS fighters.
In October 2015, U.S. special forces participated in a raid in Syria that left one American serviceman dead, though the Obama administration insists that the raid doesn't constitute a change in strategy towards a combat mission.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Enno Lenze)