Peters: Proposal to Fight ISIS Is 'Not the Language of a Commander-in-Chief'
The White House sent a draft resolution proposal to Congress requesting that lawmakers approve military action against the Islamic State.
In the proposal, President Obama stated that "ISIL poses a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East, and to U.S. national security." This move by the president would formally authorize war against the terrorist group that is responsible for the deaths of four Americans.
The president's proposal would limit authorization to three years, with no restrictions on where U.S. forces could pursue the threat. But the language in the proposal bars "enduring offensive combat operations," Fox News reported.
The president plans to speak about his request from the White House at 3:30 p.m. ET today.
Fox News strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) told Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom" that the language used in the proposal is "troubling."
"When it comes to fighting Islamic extremism, we need to all be on the same team..." Peters said. "The letter itself, the language is really troubling, because this is a letter of a nervous lawyer, not a bold commander-in-chief. There's so many qualifications in there and limitations, it's ridiculous."
"It sounds like a contract negotiation in Hollywood, where he's got all these stipulations and caveats," Peters added. "Look, we need to fight these guys and win. And you do whatever it takes to win, and you don't rule anything out, at least not in public."
Peters stated that Obama is always focused on "his domestic base and domestic politics," instead of strategy. He explained that most people don't want an "enduring large troop presence on the ground in the Middle East," but that the president shouldn't have told the enemy what he's not going to do in terms of plans for military action.
Watch the video above to hear more.
Read the full letter Obama sent to Congress about the proposal below:
To the Congress of the United States:
The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East, and to U.S. national security. It threatens American personnel and facilities located in the region and is responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller. If left unchecked, ISIL will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland.
I have directed a comprehensive and sustained strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL. As part of this strategy, U.S. military forces are conducting a systematic campaign of airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Although existing statutes provide me with the authority I need to take these actions, I have repeatedly expressed my commitment to working with the Congress to pass a bipartisan authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL. Consistent with this commitment, I am submitting a draft AUMF that would authorize the continued use of military force to degrade and defeat ISIL.
My Administration's draft AUMF would not authorize long-term, large-scale ground combat operations like those our Nation conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan. Local forces, rather than U.S. military forces, should be deployed to conduct such operations. The authorization I propose would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving U.S. or coalition personnel or the use of special operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership. It would also authorize the use of U.S. forces in situations where ground combat operations are not expected or intended, such as intelligence collection and sharing, missions to enable kinetic strikes, or the provision of operational planning and other forms of advice and assistance to partner forces.
Although my proposed AUMF does not address the 2001 AUMF, I remain committed to working with the Congress and the American people to refine, and ultimately repeal, the 2001 AUMF.
Enacting an AUMF that is specific to the threat posed by ISIL could serve as a model for how we can work together to tailor the authorities granted by the 2001 AUMF.
I can think of no better way for the Congress to join me in supporting our Nation's security than by enacting this legislation, which would show the world we are united in our resolve to counter the threat posed by ISIL.
The White House
February 11, 2015