The House bill was presented by Rep. Frank Wolf (Va.) and calls for authorizing the use of military force against international terrorist organizationswhile encouraging close coordination with NATO and regional allies on any action. These organizations include ISIS, al Qaeda and al Qaeda affiliates al Nusra, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab and Boko Haram. This bill, if passed as is, would not forbid the use of American ground forces, and does not include a time limit for actions. In a statement on his website, Wolf says that his bill would “send a clear message to the international community that the United States intends to work with allies to confront and defeat this increasingly dangerous challenge.”
Wolf’s “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” would be the firstapproved by Congress since the 2001 and 2002 legislation that authorized the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Senate bill on the issue was introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.). This bill would give the president congressional authority to order further airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but limits the authority to three years. Nelson’s bill also bars the president from deploying ground forces in the region.
President Obama has authorized more than 140 airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS, beginning on August 7th. The president said that the strikes were intended to protect U.S. personnel and property as ISIS forces were advancing toward the U.S Consulate in Erbil, the Kurdish regional capital in Iraq.
The airstrikes were also utilized to help Iraqi forces recapture and maintain control of the Mosul Dam from ISIS fighters. Officials said that ISIS could use the dam to cut off electricity and water to much of Iraq, or to flood Baghdad.
Over this past weekend, the president also authorized strikes during a humanitarian airdrop of supplies to the Shiite Turkmen in Amerli and to help Iraqi forces hold the Haditha Dam.
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Military Connection: House Bill Calls for War: By Debbie Gregory