John Kerry Wants An Unlimited War Against ISIS

John Kerry Wants An Unlimited War Against ISIS

War is by no means a mere quarrel over what to have for breakfast. However, the debate over fighting ISIS has left Congress reluctant to speak except for the determined few. Obama continues to act with questionable authority and more money ($5 billion in the new spending bill) will be going into that conflict. Sen. Rand Paul wasn’t trying to start a war against ISIS with his war resolution, writes David Weigel on Bloomberg, he’s trying to get Congress to wake up and intervene.

The White House is asking for a war against ISIS without limits. Perhaps they won’t rage a war everywhere now, as Secretary of State John Kerry insisted during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, but will the administration show such constraint in the future?

What are these so-called “restraints” that Kerry spoke of during the hearing? He argues that Obama will “limit his means” of action but the administration is reluctant to have anything written into law that could hamper executive war power.

Trust us, he’s telling Americans. Trust Obama with no restraints besides his word. Let the White House do whatever it wants because we can trust them.

“Even if one took Mr. Obama at his word,” writes the Editorial Board at The New York Times, “his successor in 2017 may have fewer reservations about another enormous American-led ground war. Already, there are too many red flags about the potential for mission creep to ignore.”

War requires limits. That’s what Paul is arguing. That’s what he was trying to provoke with his “declaration of war“. When Kerry defends a war without geographical limits, a war that relies solely on the ability of the White House to show restraint, nothing written into law, this should make us all nervous, not just Rand.

Meanwhile, the White House continues conducting its foreign policy as if Congress doesn’t exist,” writes Joshua Keating over on Slate. ”

“It’s a fundamental violation of the rule of law,” says Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman, one of Obama’s most prominent constitutional critics from the left. “I would hope that the president wouldn’t accept a carte blanche for any future war-making activity by any future president. This is a serious constitutional lawyer. He actually understands what he’s doing in a way that presidents in the past didn’t.”

HuffPost reports that the Foreign Relations Committee will move forward with an ISIS AUMF and then vote on it Thursday. Unfortunately, this draft bill for use of force against ISIS won’t diverge too far from what Kerry is requesting.

It limits military authorization to three years, doesn’t specify geographical limits and requires the administration to report to Congress every 60 days.

But there is a caveat: It allows for U.S. combat operations only in specific cases, such as when it involves the rescue of U.S. soldiers or for intelligence operations. Menendez said he’s not budging on language about combat troops, either. (HuffPost)

We should see an amendment from Sen. Paul and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), according to USAToday, that will cut down military action to a year and prevent any usage of ground troops except in certain cases.

You can watch the standoff from Tuesday between Sen. Rand Paul and Secretary of State John Kerry below. Share your thoughts on the war against ISIS by sending me a tweet @ItsAPaulWorld or by leaving a comment below.


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