Both of Nebraska’s United States Senators say Congress needs to thoroughly consider a request by President Obama to use military force against the Islamic State.
Sen. Deb Fisher will sit in on the hearings over the president’s request as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Fischer says three areas need to be clarified before Congress grants the president his request.
“This is serious,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call. “This is multi-layered and it needs to be addressed in a way that not just Congress, but the American people understand what’s involved.”
Fischer says the Obama Administration must disclose what it plans to do about Syria once the conflict with the Islamic State ends, specifically what will become of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Second, she wants the administration to outline what it considers to be Iraq’s future; does it remain a united country or break up into three separate states? Finally, Fischer says the administration needs to provide a strategy for dealing with the growing belligerence of Iran.
The president has issued a formal request that would permit ongoing airstrikes against the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL. It would authorize American military training for local ground forces in both Iraq and Syria. U.S. Special Operations personnel could be used for rescue missions as well as unspecified assistance for local forces.
The request rules out United States ground forces. It would expire after three years.
Sen. Ben Sasse says the request seems to contain more restrictions than strategy.
“The problem I have is that this request starts by saying all the things we won’t do and it doesn’t outline a coherent strategy to actually win,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The president’s request would also repeal the 2002 authorization President George W. Bush received to begin the war with Iraq. It would leave in place the 2001 authorization given to fight al-Qaea in wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]