Defense

Democratic lawmaker, a Marine veteran, won't back Obama on AUMF

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), a Marine Corps veteran and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Thursday signaled he would not support President Obama's request for war powers to fight Islamic militants as it is currently written.

"I am not ready to support an authorization for military force until the administration presents a comprehensive strategy to ensure long-term success," Moulton, who served four tours in Iraq, said in a statement.

"The strategy should be led by political and diplomatic efforts to unify and empower a local coalition to defeat [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], supported by American military assistance - not the other way around," he added.

Moulton's statement is the latest indicator that Obama's long-awaited request for a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), submitted to lawmakers on Wednesday, has fallen flat on Capitol Hill.

Democrats say the resolution goes too far and could open the door for the reintroduction of U.S. ground forces into Iraq. Republicans, meanwhile, argue the request denies flexibility to the military.

Moulton said the only way to defeat ISIS is for "local forces, supported politically by moderate regional governments, to lead this fight and take ownership of their own future."

This story was upated at 1:24 p.m.

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