In a bid to authorize US military forces against the Islamic State group (ISIS), President Barack Obama on Wednesday sent his formal request to Congress, urging the lawmakers to “show the world we are united in our resolve” to counteract the terror threat posed on the country.
The proposed bill would forbid the use of “enduring offensive ground forces” and contain fighting for three years.
According to the congressional sources, the battlefield would not be limited to Iraq and Syria.
“The Islamic State poses a threat to the people and stability of Syria, Iraq and the broader Middle East, and to US national security,” Obama said in his letter to Congress.
The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) draft bill is expected to authorize the 3,000 troops that are presently deployed in Iraq in order to provide assistance during the war by spotting for airstrikes. It may also allow the use of special forces for operations for rescuing the United States or coalition personnel or to conduct attacks on Islamic State leadership.
“I can think of no better way for the Congress to join me in supporting our Nation’s security than by enacting this legislation, which would show the world we are united in our resolve to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State,” Obama wrote in the letter.
The US military action would be carried against the Islamic State group and the forces associated with it.
The proposal is likely to spark rigorous debates over the war powers of president. Moreover, it will also raise the issue of commitment of the United States to another uncertain engagement in the Middle East.
Notably, Congress has not voted in favor of giving formal authority to the president for military operations for the war in Iraq since 2002.
If the proposal is approved by Congress, the next US president could inherit a war from his predecessor, as did the incumbent president Obama from former his predecessor George W. Bush.