What is ISIS?
ISIS, or ISIL, is an aggressive group of people who got their start in 2004 as al Qaeda in Iraq before starting the group “ISIS” two years later. This Islamic group is based from northern Syria to central Iraq, and ISIS has proven themselves to be far more brutal and effective than al Qaeda when controlling the territories it has conquered.
On Wednesday, February 4th, President Obama asked Congress for permission to use military forces against ISIS. This is the first time in 13 years that a President has asked Congress for approval. CNN reports that this proposal would give the military the “flexibility” to confront “unexpected circumstances” by using deployed special forces in the Middle East.
The lawmakers on Capital Hill received a draft for AUMF, Authorization for Use of Military Forces, that would formally approve an already six-month-old U.S. military effort against ISIS.
In a letter to Congress, Obama explained that the AUMF does not call for the deployment of ground troops in Iraq or Syria. “I am convinced that the U.S. should not get into another ground war in the Middle East — it’s not in our national security interest and not necessary for us to defeat ISIS,” Obama said.
This joint resolution would limit the President’s power to start a military campaign against ISIS for up to three years and according to the resolution, it does not authorize “enduring offensive ground combat operations.” The document also mentions ISIS as a “grave threat” to the U.S. national security interests and the stability of the region.
Republican leaders on Capital Hill were quick to reject the authorization draft from the White House, because it was too limited and insisted that the President should have fewer limitations. “If we are going to defeat this enemy, we need a comprehensive military strategy and a robust authorization, not one that limits our options,” says House Speaker John Boehner in a statement. “Any authorization for the use of military must give our military commanders the flexibility and authorities they need to succeed and protect our people . . . I have concerns that the president’s request does not meet this standard.”
Now that you know all of this information, you will understand more about the background of ISIS.