President Barack Obama formally asked Congress on Wednesday to authorize a three-year military campaign against the terrorist group Islamic State or ISIS. The request for a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, would give the president the power to continue airstrikes, but also allow for limited ground operations by American forces. The proposal is the first time in Obama’s six-year presidency where he has asked for approval of military action.
The measure sets limits on ground operations by expiring in three years and withholding permission from “enduring offensive ground combat operations”, referring to Obama’s promise not to deploy troops in Iraq and Syria.
In his accompanying letter to Congress, Obama clarified the proposed legislation “would not authorize long-term, large-scale ground combat operations like those our Nation conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Instead the measure allows for limited ground operations including rescue operations and targeted attacks against ISIS leadership. The proposed legislation would also allow for the use of ground forces in targeted spotting, intelligence gathering and planning assistance to partner forces.
Obama will make a statement at the White House at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday regarding his request for military action against ISIS.