The United States is determined to work with its coalition partners to defeat the barbaric terrorist group ISIL, which poses a grave global threat. To that end, President Barack Obama has formally asked the U.S. Congress to authorize the use of continued U.S. military force against it.
The U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition has conducted more than 2000 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria in support of local forces on the ground. And, as the rout of ISIL from the Syrian town of Kobane proves, that action has helped pierce the veneer of invulnerability ISIL has attempted to portray.
Yet, as President Obama has noted, the United States is “strongest as a nation when the President and the Congress work together.” His draft resolution on the continued use of force against ISIL supports the comprehensive strategy the U.S. has been pursuing and seeks bipartisan support in Congress so that it is clear to all that the United States speaks with one voice in the fight against ISIL. The authorization would last for three years.
President Obama stressed that he is not calling for a long-term ground-troop deployment, such as the U.S. conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Local forces…who know their countries are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL,” he said. Rather, this authorization allows the United States to use its unique capabilities to support its partners on the ground.
The President’s draft resolution cites examples of the depravities ISIL has committed, including “despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims;” “vicious acts…against religious and ethnic minority groups;” and the targeting of “innocent women and girls with horrific acts of violence.”
As the President’s draft resolution demonstrates, and Secretary of State John Kerry has said, “Our resolve is unshaken to defeat this vile and unspeakably ugly insult to the civilized world.”