Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | John Yoo | Barack Obama | ISIS | Islamic State

John Yoo: Obama's ISIS-Fighting Request Gives Away US Strategy

By    |   Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 03:07 PM

President Barack Obama's request that Congress authorize the use military force against the Islamic State (ISIS) for three years is a blueprint the terror group can potentially use for its own victory, according to John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.

"After [ISIS reads] this authorization, after they see a messy debate in Congress — which is going to show a level of disunity amongst the president and the legislative branch — it's going to say, 'The U.S. is only going to come after us with air attacks and they're going to leave in three years … what they've already done in Iraq and Afghanistan,'" Yoo said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"[That] is to hide from air attacks, wait us out and to try to raise a cost on us and our allies so that we'll become more wary and in three years all that it will take will be a minority in the Senate to block any reauthorization."

If the proposal is approved, it would be the first time Congress has authorized the president's use of military force since 2002 under President George W. Bush for the invasion of Iraq.

But Yoo — a professor at Berkeley Law and author of "Point of Attack: Preventive War, International Law, and Global Welfare," published by Oxford University Press — said the request is flawed and dangerous.

"This is an authorization to use force or a declaration of war unseen in American history. It's unprecedented in the way it tries to limit not just the war and the president, but future wars," Yoo said.

"This is going to be a terrible harm for our national security. The first and obvious one is that it has a three-year sunset. In other words, it says once you authorize the use of force, pass this law of Congress, in three years, the authorization ends.

"This makes no sense as a military matter. You don't announce to your enemies that you're going to be pulling out at a certain date. Our enemies will just sit there and wait us out as they have in Iraq and Afghanistan."

He said the authorization would also ban what it calls ongoing ground-combat operations.

"You don't tell the enemy in advance exactly what you are going to do and what you can't do. In this case, we're telling the enemy we're not going to be sending any serious ground troops," Yoo said.

"[That] not only limits our commanders' tactical and strategic options in the region, but it's essentially playing it to the enemy's hands and guaranteeing … they're just going to wait us out and then they're going to declare victory in three years."

Yoo said he believes the president's request flies in the face of what the nation's Founding Fathers intended.

"This all goes back to a principle that our framers understood and what Alexander Hamilton made clear during the debates on the constitution … you can't anticipate ahead of time all the natures of threats to our nation's security," Yoo said.

"It doesn't make sense to try to tie your hands beforehand in some kind of written law that will dictate exactly how you think the war will go. We may want to fight according to our plans, but the enemy would want to fight according to his or hers."

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President Obama's request that Congress authorize the use of military force against ISIS for three years is a blueprint the terror group can potentially use for its own victory, according to John Woo, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.
John Yoo, Barack Obama, ISIS, Islamic State, strategy
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2015-07-12
Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 03:07 PM
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