Obama’s Unconstitutional Attempt to Shift the Blame for His Losing ISIS Strategy | National Review Online

Andrew C. McCarthy

Andrew C. McCarthy

On Wednesday, President Obama proposed for Congress’s consideration an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). The jihadists are already being fought — albeit not nearly vigorously enough — under existing AUMFs. So Obama’s proposal, which would gratuitously repeal one of the prior AUMFs, is unnecessary. It is, in addition, so pathetic a concoction of lawlessness and aimlessness that, in a healthier political climate, Congress would not give it the time of day.

The document defies the reality of war. Phrased as a license for the “limited” use of force, it suggests that lawmakers should delegitimize combat even as they authorize it. The president would have Congress limit the duration of combat (to three years), as if war came with an end-date. He’d have Congress limit the means of combat (no ground forces), as if war could be scripted to suit the Left’s anti-war sensibilities.

But, for a moment, let’s put aside the reality of the long war. Obama’s proposal could not even deal with the reality of Wednesday. Just as Congress received it, Obama’s new defense secretary was conceding that the president’s retreat from Afghanistan would have to be postponed because of Taliban advances; while in Yemen — that Obama-touted counterterrorism “success” story — Iran-backed jihadists seized the U.S. embassy after American diplomatic and military officials were forced to flee.

In fact, less than 24 hours after Obama suggested that Congress should forbid him from using ground troops against Islamic State terrorists, Islamic State terrorists were busy capturing a western Iraqi town just 13 minutes away from the base where 320 U.S. Marines are on the ground, training hapless Iraqi forces. Forget ground forces to defeat ISIS; the way Obama is managing things, we may need ground forces just to rescue our ground forces.

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