If Obama won’t go to Congress to authorize force against ISIS, what hope do we have of success?

Here’s an important question that’s not receiving too much attention: should President Obama stand before Congress — the House and Senate — and make the case to declare war against ISIS, actually, against islamo-fascism?

I understand Obama must give a speech to take the case to the people, to our representatives. But this is a major decision that will have long-term strategic ramifications for the foreign policy and national security of the United States. He can’t just make another unilateral decision — like Libya — in expending US military resources and support.

As the Washington Times reports, “The White House on Monday refused to say whether President Obama will ask Congress to authorize an expanded U.S. campaign to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, as the president prepared to meet with congressional leaders and tell Americans about his strategy. As lawmakers increasingly call for a vote on authorizing a broader air war against the Sunni militants, White House aides ducked the question repeatedly Monday while saying Mr. Obama believes he has the authority necessary to expand military force and forge a coalition with Europe and the Middle East.”

And therein lies the issue — Obama doesn’t have the authority to expand military force — he can forge any coalition he desires. The War Powers Act gives the president the ability to prosecute a military action for a specified period of time. Within 30 days of that period ending, the president must go before Congress for approval of the continuation of — lets be clear: hostilities – that’s what it’s called when you’re dropping a bomb on someone, i.e. war. Specifically the 1973 War Powers Resolution requires the president to report to Congress when he uses military force; Congress must then authorize such action within 60 days or the president must stop. The president can invoke a 30-day extension only once.

What I don’t want to see happen is an ambiguous escalation of combat activity, resources, and personnel in an incremental fashion without a clearly defined strategic and operational campaign plan. Without it you won’t be able to achieve tactical success — what we in the military call “nesting of objectives” — a critical concept promoting the interconnection of goals and objectives from the three levels of warfare: strategic, operational, and tactical. And again, I cannot fathom why anyone would state it will take three years to “degrade and destroy” ISIS.

As the Washington Times reports, “the administration is describing the president’s plans, to be outlined by Mr. Obama in a speech Wednesday in Washington, as a counterterrorism operation against the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIL and ISIS. “The president is concerned about the threat of terrorism, and that is why the other counter-terrorism operations that this administration has carried out are a relevant reference point,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.”

So here we have more confusion in language from the White House. Counter-terrorism operations are done specifically by certain U.S. forces. President Obama continues to tell us there will be “no U.S. boots on the ground.” Well, how does the United States execute counter-terrorism operations without counter-terrorism operators? If the kids who never got picked to play who are now running the White House believe a drone or intermittent air strikes from 15,000 feet can do counter-terrorism operation,s then folks, we are in BIG trouble.

Sure, you can eliminate a singular entity such as Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, or the leader of Al Shabab but that has nothing to do with “degrade and destroy” a terrorist army like ISIS – let alone the Islamo-fascist ideology.

Here is an historic example. When we were successful in shooting down Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, that did not end World War II in the Pacific theater of operations. Yes, it eliminated a very key leader, but it had little effect on the Japanese ground forces on the key islands necessary to take in order to collapse the Imperial Japanese empire. Killing Yamamoto was a tactical operation against an operational target that had no strategic impact — other than to eliminate a key naval leader.

And this Obama administration seems to not comprehend that relationship between the respective levels of warfare. Obama approving drone strikes and 130 air strikes over a month are not strategic imperatives — which is what he needs to present this evening, in a coherent fashion, and then present to Congress for a vote. And if it is laid out in a confident and coherent manner, he will get support.

As the Washington Times says, ‘the call in Congress for Mr. Obama to spell out a plan for defeating the Islamic State has grown louder since the president said at a press conference on Aug. 28 that his administration has “no strategy” for fighting the militants in Syria, where they have beheaded two U.S. hostages in recent weeks. “If the president is prepared to engage Congress with a strategic plan to protect the U.S. and our allies from ISIL, I believe he will have significant congressional support,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican. Mr. McConnell said the threat “is real and it’s growing, and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”

If we had a true American president and not an intransigent anti-war ideologue, he would sit with former key military leaders like Generals Keane, Petraeus, McChrystal and Mattis to assist in developing the strategy for the way ahead. That would garner him huge bipartisan support.

What do I expect tomorrow? Sadly, more confusion. But hey, if Obama wants to have a chat, more than happy to do so, this is about my country and destroying our enemy.

12 COMMENTS

  1. He’s just waiting for 2017 when we have another President to handle it. Then if that President makes any mistakes it won’t be Obama’s fault. So he thinks. He better pray there isn’t one attack in this country whether he is still in office or whether he isn’t because it WILL be in fault.

  2. since he admitted on National television he has no intention of going before the house and congress thus the Americans no nothing about his plans he should be removed from office immediately. He has done this too many times instead of being a real leader and negotiating a agreeable solution. When you are a Nations leader you should go before Congress, otherwise the Armed Forces may just think they don’t need his or anyone else’s permission to go on a rescue mission to save the lives of Diplomats who are in harms way. If he has no respect for our laws why should anyone respect him!

  3. Obama is making America sick. Literally. I can not be the only one whose blood pressure is up every time I see or hear him. I would guess he has caused ulcers to act up, insomnia to rise, heart disease to act up and plenty of other health issues have been augmented by his actions. I mean lack of action. The serious stress that he has put Americans under is going to impact on our health in a big way, including depression and cancer.

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  4. Some guidance for BHO’s thinking: Known as “Just War Doctrine”

    >the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    >all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    >there must be serious prospects of success;
    >the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the
    evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs
    very heavily in evaluating this condition.

  5. ask congress??
    they don’t want to vote on this,, (even tho it’s their job to rigorously debate this crap)
    they are all so worried about the mid-terms and if making the wrong vote prevents them from being elected AGAIN,, ya know,, to come back to DC and do nothing…
    something as important as this should be up front on their minds,, but alas,, they will dump it in his lap,,, ya know,, after screaming about him doing things on his own..
    I wouldn’t expect anything less from you..

    * saw the tattoo west,,, and watched the video clip,,, your kidding right??

  6. Drop an A-Bomb on Iran, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan. Then go into Gaza and take out every male from 12 up. These kids are brainwashed at this point even earlier. Then form a Military specialist group to find the ones in the US and take care of them. I hate it for the innocent, but there is NO OTHER WAY to deal with these animals. They all are truly Satins army…Period, and they don’t understand ANY OTHER WAY

  7. Well said, Mr. West, on the War Powers Act. Your conclusions still smell of tin-foil and still reflect poorly on the Conservative Movement. Why couldn’t you stop when you were ahead?

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