Time for Congress to Authorize War With ISIS

Posted September 9, 2015 at 5:00am

The Washington Post Editorial Board  urges Congress to authorize the ongoing efforts to defeat the Islamic State.  

“Congress is eroding its standing to check presidential war-making and sending the message to troops that they lack the country’s unambiguous backing. As the war expands, the legal justification for it grows steadily more fragile. When asked at a Senate hearing in July whether the administration had the authority to defend Syrian rebels from government attacks, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter responded that he wasn’t sure. Yet the Pentagon subsequently pledged to provide that protection.”  

“Encouragingly, a bipartisan war authorization draft has emerged in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Crafted by Sens. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), it attempts to bridge the gap between the two parties’ positions with language that discourages the use of ‘significant’ ground troops against the Islamic State while stopping short of an explicit ban. Importantly, it does not limit the war geographically, making action against Islamic State affiliates in places such as Libya possible; and it authorizes action against any entity that ‘presents a direct threat’ to ‘forces trained by the coalition,’ which would cover potential action to defend Syrian rebels against the Assad regime.”