February 11, 2015—Today in a carefully worded speech on his new war resolution, President Obama officially requested more war power against the Islamic State from the US Congress. After thousands of bombings that are already “authorized” to continue over Iraq and Syria, Obama wants a more “flexible” mission.
Obama maintained that his war resolution “does not call for deploy of US ground forces to Iraq and Syria.” But it doesn’t rule them out as an option either. Standing beside Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Vice President Joe Biden, he said he requires a “necessary balance that gives us flexibility.”
“I want to be very clear about what it does and what it does not do,” Obama said. What it does do is what’s already being done, and what it doesn’t do is what it could do if circumstances change. Circumstances have been known to change in war, according to common sense.
The draft war resolution supports the ongoing 5-point “comprehensive strategy”: (1) “systemic and sustained air strikes,” (2) support and training for local forces including the “moderate Syrian rebel opposition,” (3) preventing terrorist attacks in the region and beyond, (4) propping up the central Iraq government to unite the Iraqis and strengthen their military, (5) and humanitarian assistance.
“Even as we meet this challenge in Syria, we all agree a critical part of our strategy is the values we live here at home,” Obama said referring to our diverse and tolerant society.
In an attempt to promote the coalition forces, Obama said with an eery calm, “The resolution we’ve submitted today does not call for the deployment of US ground combat forces to Iraq and Syria.” He continued, “I’m convinced the US should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East.”
“At the same time, this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances,” Obama promised.
To sweeten the deal, Obama’s draft resolution would repeal and replace the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force that led to the Iraq War. This amounts to a moot talking point for the Administration. What’s of slightly more substance is the three year limit placed on his resolution. A limit sort of like the debt ceiling. Congress is scheduled to revisit the issue at the beginning of the next president’s term in 2017.
“It’s conceivable the mission is completed earlier. It’s conceivable that after deliberation, debate, and evaluation that there are additional tasks to be carried out in this area,” he articulated. As open-ended as this resolution seems to be, the Nobel Peace Prize winner believes that it “can grow even stronger” in Congress.
Before closing with ceremonial God Bless America this and God Bless America that, Obama said “We can show our troops and the world that America is united in this mission.” That is, if Americans don’t stop Congress from simply doing as it’s told like it has in previous wars. This “flexible” new war power invites Americans to flex their own power, united against another power grab over threats of war. You can stop this. Sign the petition below: