Sen. Kaine introduces authorization of military force against ISIL

kaine new2Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, will introduce a narrow and specific authorization for use of military force against ISIL.

As the Foreign Relations Committee prepares to draft a tailored authorization to provide President Obama with authority in the mission to degrade and destroy ISIL, Kaine’s proposal is meant to reinforce the President’s strategy, as well as set key limitations he hopes will be included in final authorizing language for broader Congressional consideration.

In announcing the proposal, Kaine said: “Last week, President Obama laid out a strong case for the need to degrade and destroy ISIL and invited broader Congressional support for this effort. I was heartened when Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Menendez answered this call by saying the committee would soon craft authorizing language for the U.S. military mission. It’s my hope that this proposal will help move the ball forward on what a specific and narrow authorization for limited military action against ISIL should look like – one that bars the deployment of U.S. ground combat troops except for rescue missions or limited operations against high-value targets, and sunsets in one year so that progress can be assessed before continuing the mission. I also propose the repeal of the obsolete 2002 Iraq War authorization. If Congress isn’t willing to do the hard work – to debate and vote on an authorization – we should not be asking our servicemembers to go into harm’s way.”

The authorization is specific to ISIL and supports President Obama’s key pillars: a multinational effortto degrade and destroy ISIL, the use of necessary and appropriate force in a campaign of air strikesagainst ISIL in Iraq and Syria and the provision of military equipment to appropriately vetted forces in Iraq and Syria, including the Iraqi security forces, Kurdish fighters, and other legitimate, appropriately vetted, non-terrorist opposition groups in Syria.

It also includes four key limitations:

1)      No U.S. ground troops;

2)      Repeal of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force;

3)      Sunset after one year;

4)      Narrow definition of “associated forces.”


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