Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | ashton carter | isis | threat | growing

Defense Sec. Carter: ISIS Terror Threat 'Metastasizing'

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 10:35 PM

Citing the growing strength of the Islamic State (ISIS) outside of Iraq and Syria, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter urged Congress Wednesday to pass legislation authorizing military force without limiting where the U.S. military may launch anti-terror strikes.

Carter said that with ISIS expanding its reach across the Middle East and North Africa, Congress needs to pass an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) which does not include geographic limitations on where the United States may launch strikes, The Washington Times reported.

The version proposed by the administration "wisely does not include any geographical restriction, because [ISIS] already shows signs of metastasizing outside of Syria and Iraq," Carter told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

One potentially confusing aspect of the authorization is a provision barring "enduring offensive ground combat operations" by U.S. forces.

Even U.S. military leaders disagree on how to define this. Carter has said it just means that Washington is barred from launching a protracted military campaign like it did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gen. John Allen (Ret.), who is leading the U.S. campaign to defeat ISIS, has said it could mean anything from two weeks to two years. Last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he saw it as a mission-based limitation rather than one with a time limit.

But Secretary of State John Kerry took issue with Allen's statement, saying that no one is considering a months-long or years-long engagement of U.S. troops on the ground.

"I think it’s been very clear how limited it is," Kerry stated.

Carter told the Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday that the fight against ISIS could be expanded to include the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram and radical forces in Libya, the Guardian reported.

Carter said the language of the authorization would give U.S. leaders the flexibility to include targets outside of Iraq and Syria with connections to ISIS that threaten the United States or its allies.

"This AUMF could apply to operations in and around Libya," Carter said, depending on whether they were aligned with and coordinating with Isis to attack the United States or one of its coalition partners.

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Citing the growing strength of the Islamic State (ISIS) outside of Iraq and Syria, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter urged Congress Wednesday to pass legislation authorizing military force without limiting where the U.S. military may launch anti-terror strikes.
ashton carter, isis, threat, growing
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2015-35-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 10:35 PM
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