WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee, today introduced S.J.Res.43, an authorization for use of force against the extremist organization that calls itself the Islamic State (IS).
The resolution authorizes the President to use all necessary and appropriate force to protect Americans and defend national security interests against IS and any successor organization and gives the President flexibility to adjust efforts to defeat IS as the terrorist organization evolves or changes. It also requires the President to deliver a written comprehensive strategy to Congress within 15 days of enactment and requires updates on the strategy implementation every 90 days.
"The Islamic State (IS) is the greatest terrorist threat the United States has faced since the attacks of 9/11, 13 years ago,” said Inhofe. “Americans are rightfully concerned for the evolution of IS into a well-funded, well-networked terrorist army and for the hesitation by the White House to treat this organization as such. It is estimated that 12,000 foreign fighters have joined IS, including about 2,500 who hold Western passports, giving them easy access to Western countries and a likely avenue to commit acts of terrorism on American soil. In their minds, the brutal execution of two Americans is just the beginning of greater attacks on America. And we must treat it for what it is: a first act of war against the American people. It demands a response.
"The President has had ample time to take aggressive action against IS and present a comprehensive strategy to reduce its global influence. While the President has stated his objective is the defeat of IS, the limited tactical strikes in Iraq have been insufficient to accomplish this goal. The American public wants their defeat, but they also want a better understanding of what the strategy is and what military and other resources will be needed. This is why I have introduced my resolution, to bring clarity to our mission and to show America’s resolve to protect its citizens and defeat IS. My resolution affirms the President’s ability to use all necessary and appropriate force to protect Americans and defend our national security against the threat posed by IS and any successor terrorist organization. It also demands for the President to deliver what Americans are asking of him, a comprehensive strategy not just for Iraq, but also for Syria, and wherever IS operates around the world.
"With this resolution, the President, in coordination with allies and partners, will have clear authority to go after IS fighters, finances and their networks across the globe. IS operations are not confined by borders or timelines and neither should the U.S. effort to defeat them. IS is an evolving threat, and the President must have the flexibility needed to adjust as conditions on the ground change. Limitations placed on the tools available to the President will create seams that are certain to be fully exploited by IS and will decrease the effectiveness of any action taken. At a time when our partners around the world are questioning U.S. leadership, we need to demonstrate that we’re serious about protecting Americans and our interests. Prince Faisal Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan told me in my office this morning that if the United States doesn’t act, Jordan will still need to move forward because of the immediate threat to its people. Prince Al-Hussein also said a Congressional authorization would be helpful to send a clear message of U.S. resolve to our partners and allies in the region. This is what my resolution can do. IS has shown it is serious about killing Americans. We must show we are serious about protecting them.”
Sen. Inhofe spoke last night on the Senate floor about his resolution and the video can be viewed by clicking here.