Barack Obama justified his use of force against ISIS by citing the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution that was signed by George Bush in 2001. Obama is claiming that he does not need any further authorization to engage ISIS because he is authorized under the AUMF. While some say he is evading Congress (which he most certainly is) he is probably correct about his authority under the AUMF.
The real issue here is that Obama has been trying to repeal the very statute he is citing as his authorization. Obama claimed the law was dated and could be used as a way to involve America in more wars.
The AUMF is now nearly 12 years old,” he said. “Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. Washington Times
As recently as last week a National Security Council spokesperson stated that the goal was to “refine and ultimately replace” the AUMF so that Obama can “take America off a permanent war footing.”
Isn’t it convenient that Obama is using the very thing he wants to repeal to justify his actions? I think it would be fairly easy to get Congress to authorize the use of force against ISIS given that the group has beheaded two Americans.
Remember though, with Obama it is all about optics and politics. He is not upset that he played golf after discussing a beheading only that he failed to anticipate the optics of doing so.
In the case of the use of force politics is at play. If Obama uses a law signed by Bush he can avoid signing anything that would link him to the war against ISIS. The linked article points this out and goes on to indicate that Obama would prefer to work with Congress but if he went to that body and was rejected it would be “politically damaging.”
Since Obama never takes responsibility for anything (but takes credit whether he deserves it or not) it is no surprise that he would rather use something he can pin on George Bush.
While it will be easy for Obama to avoid blame and to point fingers I think it is just fine. I am thankful that Bush had the foresight to have an AUMF in place.
You see, Obama is a weak person (I can’t say leader because he could not lead a group of people out of a burning building) and without something already in place it is very unlikely he would have been able to muster the courage to get something done in order to strike ISIS.
Obama is probably happy that he does not have to spend a lot of time getting authorization because that would be a real burden.
To his golf outings…
Never surrender, never submit.