The Obama administration needs to develop a comprehensive coordinated strategy for defeating ISIS terrorists. Congress must closely analyze whether ISIS, as a legal matter, falls under the 2001 AUMF (authorization for use of military force) given the historical ties between ISIS and al Qaeda. And if ISIS does not fall under the 2001 AUMF then Congress and the administration must craft an ISIS-specific authorization for use of military force, Heritage Foundation expert Cully Stimson writes in a new report.
The administration “must develop a comprehensive, overarching strategy to confront and ultimately defeat this enemy,” Stimson argues. “Working with our partners and allies and the countries in the region that are most affected by ISIS, the United States must do what it traditionally has done: lead.”
The vibrant debate among legal scholars regarding the domestic and international law basis for U.S. military action against ISIS is partly due to the fact that the Administration has yet to provide the public with a clear, comprehensive legal analysis of its power to use military force against ISIS. As a general principle, when a President puts our troops in harm’s way for a sustained period of time, it is advisable for him to propose, consult with, and obtain express authorization from Congress. That consultation and debate should be public, not buried in a continuing resolution or other must-pass legislation. Sending our troops into war requires a sober, deliberate debate that is not influenced by electoral politics.
Do you think the administration needs explicit authorization from Congress to fight ISIS?