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Tipsheet

Homeland Security Committee Chairman: AUMF Not Good Enough

This morning, House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) criticized President Obama’s Authorization for Use of Military Force proposed to Congress saying that the authorization, “ties our hands and specifically ties the hands of the generals.”

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The president’s proposal, sent to Congress Wednesday, bans the use of “enduring offensive ground combat.”

“I would rather have no AUMF than the AUMF that he’s proposed,” McCaul said.

“While we would prefer not to deploy american ground troops into combat, we cannot rule out the possibility if we want to destroy ISIS,” he added.

Congressional Democrats have voiced their opposition to the policy because it does not rule out American boots on the ground. Many Republicans oppose the proposal because it does not specifically provide for ground forces.

“I would support an AUMF that would authorize a defeat and destruction of ISIS and its associates wherever they exist,” McCaul explained, adding that he doubts that the president would support such a proposal. “But I’m not going to support an AUMF that ties the hands of our generals once again, or that micromanages this conflict and weakens our ability to defeat ISIS, which is precisely what this AUMF does.”

McCaul outlined the threat of Islamic extremism abroad and within the United States, explaining that war against Islamic terror is not just a battle against a particular group, but against a growing “spiderweb” of extremism around the world.

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“Right now, violent extremists appear to be winning,” he said.

While McCaul appreciates the president’s consulting Congress on war power, he iterated concern that agreement between Congress and the White House will be difficult.

“We must take the fight to the enemy. We must go on the offensive,” McCaul said Thursday morning. “Air strikes have not dislodged them from their territory. We need a ground force to eradicate this cancer.”

McCaul described war against ISIS as the defining conflict of the current generation’s struggle opposing Islamic extremism.

“We face an enemy whose ultimate goal is to conquer territory and impose its rule through mass fear, intimidation, rape, crucifixion and murder,” McCaul said. “We have seen the images of child soldiers and brutal beheadings and beatings. I believe we must rally the world to decisively eliminate the threat imposed by Islamist terrorism.”

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