GOP senator: Obama’s ISIS plan 'utterly stupid'

Greg Nash

A Republican senator on Wednesday ripped President Obama for seeking to limit the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), calling the proposal “utterly stupid."

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchThe holy grail of tax policy GOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain M wasted on unusable email system GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (R-Utah) in a radio interview noted the recent death of Kayla Mueller, who died while held captive by the terrorist group, to argue the president needs to threaten ISIS with "all the force he can get."
"And here we have the president coming up with this — I think it's utterly stupid — proposal," Hatch told KSL News Radio. "And he's binding the next president also with really stupid language."

"Any president worth his or her salt is going to ask for as much authority as they can get, so at least the ISIS people know that he has the authority to come in on them anyway he wants to.”

Obama’s proposal, which was sent to Congress Wednesday morning, would allow U.S. troops to conduct search and rescue operations, target ISIS leaders and advice and assist operations against the terrorist group.

But in an attempt to win over Democrats, the plan also bans any "enduring offensive ground combat operations" while limiting the authorization for the military campaign to three years.

Hatch said ISIS could use the restrictions in the proposal to its advantage.

"Why would we not only unilaterally impose limitations as to which types of tools and tactics our service members can use then also broadcast these limitations to the enemy?" he said.

"If we're telling the Islamic State upfront that we will not using ground forces, will they not tailor their strategy around that fact? Tell me!" he continued. "If we advertise when the authorization expires with the arbitrary date and time, won't they just hunker down and wait for that date?"

Hatch, whose voice raised several times during the interview, apologized for getting worked up. "I mean, I'm really up in arms about it."

Hatch said a new AUMF should clearly articulate that the executive branch is authorized to use force against ISIS, be flexible enough to be use against future forms of ISIS, and be able to target associated organizations.

"Most importantly, the president should be asking for an authorization that would not impose any artificial and any unnecessary limitations such as those based on time, geography and type of force that could interfere with our strategic objectives of defeating the Islamic State," he said.

"What he's doing is tying his own hands, and stupidly tying his own hands," he said. "I mean my goodness, talk about telegraphing weakness. That's what he's doing."

"The AUMF should not be public relations tool, and that's what he's using it for," he said. "I can't believe it. I can't understand what this man does."