Inhofe’s Response to the President’s AUMF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the President’s Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) sent to Congress today:

“Today the President requested authorities he claimed he already had. Unfortunately, his request does not address some of the guidelines I outlined on the Senate floor Monday that will lay the best foundation for the defeat of ISIL. As Congress debates the authorization, any final AUMF must include all the authorities necessary for the President to use to defeat ISIS/ISIL. It should not be limited by time. It should not be limited by geography, and it should not tie the hands of our military commanders with methods and tactics that limit needed flexibility. As I have said before, I support the King of Jordan’s position that Muslim and Arab countries must lead in this war. A broad, flexible AUMF sends a clear signal of our resolve to partners and allies that we will support them until ISIL is defeated. Only the United States has the full spectrum of capabilities needed for a coalition to succeed, and we need to let them know that the U.S. stands ready to support them in a quick and efficient manner.

"My first concern is that the President’s AUMF limits the timeframe which telegraphs the wrong message. This is a generational fight. We cannot arbitrarily say we will be done in three years. Let’s be honest with the American people.  Additionally, the phrase ‘enduring offensive ground operations’  is ambiguous and could leave us in perpetual debate on what the military is authorized to do.   I want commanders to get it done.  All reasonable military options should be on the table.  I believe ‘use of all necessary and appropriate force’ would have been a better message.  Finally, our country, its people and Congress, need to know what the strategy is with regards to ISIS/ISIL – what are our goals and objectives, and what is the end state.  On Jan. 23, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey said, ‘I think in the crafting of the AUMF, all options should be on the table... Constraints on time, or a ‘sunset clause,’ I just don't think it’s necessary.’ The President should listen to his military commanders. 

"I look forward to debating these concerns in committee and on the floor in the coming weeks and I call upon Congress to make this a priority in the coming days.” 

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