Defense chief: Obama should not have limited ISIS war resolution

Defense chief: Obama should not have limited ISIS war resolution
© Getty Images

New Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday said that he wouldn’t have included a three-year sunset in President Obama's authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“That is not something I would have deduced from the Department of Defense’s necessities, the campaign’s necessities or our obligations to the troops,” Carter told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.


He said it “has to do with the political calendar in our country,” which he called a “constitutional issue” because the executive and legislative branches share responsibility for the conduct of military operations.

“I wouldn’t assure anyone that this will be over three years or that the campaign will be completed in three years,” Carter added. “The three years comes from the fact that there will be a presidential election in in two years and so forth, and I respect that.”

Obama sent Congress a draft resolution last month, asking lawmakers to approve a new resolution of force against ISIS.

The proposal would expire in three years and ban Obama from the use of “enduring offensive ground combat operations," language that is seen as deliberately vague in an attempt to win over liberal critics concerned about an open-ended mission and those on the right who don’t want to restrict possible military action against the terror group.

Carter said any resolution that emerges must “give us the flexibility we need to defeat this opponent.”

The final document must also be something that is “widely supported” so that the troops executing the mission know they have support back home.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday announced that his panel would hold a hearing on March 11 with Carter, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBiden's climate policies: Adrift in economic and scientific fantasyland The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted Watch live: John Kerry testifies on climate change MORE and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to examine the president’s AUMF.