The AP reported this morning that President Barack Obama is asking Congress to formally authorize military action against Islamic State militants, offering a draft resolution that defines a limited operation without geographical limitations, but confined to three years, and with the door open to ground combat operations “in other more limited circumstances.”
The resolution was presented in response to growing aggression in recent weeks by the Islamic State, which President Obama cites as being, “a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria and the broader Middle East and to U.S. national security,” further noting that a broader threat to the U.S. mainland could be imminent unless prompt action is taken.
Obama also cited propaganda films released in recent weeks by ISIL, which have featured the beheadings of captives that include journalists, as well as a Jordanian pilot who was burned alive, prompting air strikes from Jordan in retaliation.
The most recent American hostage referenced in the proposal was Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old humanitarian worker whose death was confirmed Tuesday, though details about the circumstances remain unclear.
ISIL representatives have urged sympathizers to attacks Western targets in recent weeks, which Mr. Obama cites as a serious concern to the U.S. mainland if overlooked.
Speaker of the House John Boehner expressed concern about the effectiveness of the operations outlined in Obama’s resolution, but mirrored Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sentiments that it would be given serious consideration. According to the AP, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement that Congress should quickly pass legislation “narrowly tailored” to the fight against IS, but did not specifically endorse Obama’s proposal.
A public address will follow the resolution, which will be televised later on Wednesday.