US President Barack Obama formally has asked Congress to authorize the use of military force against Isis in the Middle East, the first time in 13 years a president has asked for such authorization.
Mr Obama on Wednesday morning submitted his proposal, which asks for authorization of a continued military effort against the Islamic militants, including air strikes and the limited use of ground troops in certain situations.
“(Isis) threatens American personnel and facilities located in the region and is responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller,” Mr Obama wrote in his proposal. “If left unchecked, (Isis) will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland.”
The proposal seeks to limit the campaign against Isis to three years, meaning Mr Obama’s successor would have to get further authorization from Congress to continue the fight. While it would authorize some ground forced from entering the fight, the proposal would not allow a large-scale ground combat operation, like the controversial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr Obama has asked to use ground forces in rescue missions and in intelligence gathering, writing that “local forces, rather than US military forces, should be deployed” against Isis in ground combat operations.
Congress receives the president’s proposal at a sensitive time, as on Tuesday it was confirmed that a 26-year-old American aid worker – Ms Mueller, mentioned above – had been killed while in Isis custody. News of her death has prompted heavy media attention and public outrage at Isis. It is not immediately clear how Ms Mueller was killed.
The proposal is expected to jumpstart debate in Congress and it is not known how long it could take for lawmakers to authorize the military force.
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