Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | matt salmon | barack obama | military | force | authorization

Rep. Salmon to Newsmax: Obama ISIS Plan Must Have Ground Troops

By    |   Tuesday, 10 February 2015 08:58 PM

President Barack Obama will seek authorization to use military force against the Islamic State on Wednesday — but no plan will destroy the terrorists unless it lets "our generals call the shots" rather than "some community organizer telling them what to do and how to do it," Rep. Matt Salmon told Newsmax on Tuesday.

Otherwise, it's "offensive — and it's idiotic," the Arizona Republican said. "You have to send in ground troops to flush them out.

"The president has just been playing this like a political game, and lives are at stake," added Salmon, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Now, we have another young life, tragically ended."

The request for a three-year authorization — without ground troops — is expected to come after Obama and the family of U.S. aid worker Kayla Mueller, 26, confirmed Tuesday that she had died. She was the last-known American hostage held by the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).

Administration officials said that Mueller's family in Arizona received an email and photograph over the weekend from her captors that proved the death. The family lives in Prescott, Ariz., which is not in Salmon's district.

The circumstances under which Mueller died remained unclear. ISIS said Friday that she was killed when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held outside Raqqa, an Islamic State stronghold.

Jordan and U.S. officials have dismissed that account of Mueller's death.

She was captured in August 2013 while leaving a hospital in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Mueller had worked in Turkey providing humanitarian assistance to refugees from Syria's bloody civil war.

Mueller's family said they were "heartbroken" to learn of her death and released a copy of a letter she had written in 2014 while in captivity.

"Over the weekend, the family received a private message from Kayla's ISIL captors containing additional information," said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan.

"Once this information was authenticated by the intelligence community, they concluded that Kayla was deceased," Meehan said.

Mueller, a graduate of Northern Arizona University, was the Islamic State's only American woman hostage known to have died.

The group has beheaded three other Americans, two Britons and two Japanese hostages — most of them aid workers or journalists — in recent months.

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," President Obama said.

The forthcoming authorization would allow Obama to use special forces and advisors for defensive purposes but not "enduring offensive ground forces," lawmakers and aides said. It would not, however, set geographic limits for the campaign against ISIS.

Obama has justified U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria under a 2001 authorization passed after the Sept. 11 attacks and a 2002 authorization used by President George W. Bush in the Iraq war.

The plan would repeal the 2002 authorization but leave in place the 2001 AUMF, which has been invoked by the White House to carry out drone and missile strikes against suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen and Somalia.

While some Democrats expressed reservations about Obama's new proposal, saying it should strongly limit the use of combat troops, Republicans slammed it because of those probable restrictions.

"I don't think he wants to win," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Neil Cavuto on his Fox News program. "He wants to get this problem, pass it onto the next president.

"My belief about the president is he is overwhelmed by the situation he finds himself in. He's more worried about negotiating with the Iranians and dealing with their nuclear program than he is destroying ISIL.

"The reason he will not take a side on it is because he's afraid that will get the Iranians mad and somehow screw up the deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program," Graham said.

New York Rep. Peter King told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that "there are more fighters than before" within ISIS — as many as 20,000 — and that he would not back an authorization that "puts restrictions on the president.

"I'm not going to vote for any legislation that says we cannot use ground troops," said King, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee. "That, to me, takes away the constitutional right of the commander-in-chief — and no president should want to give up that right.

"Once we do that, to me, we're acknowledging ultimate defeat," he said.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Senate Intelligence Committee member, said that Obama had the authority to strike ISIS — and that, if anything, the 2001 authorization should be amended.

"It's always better … if the Congress and the president speak with one voice when it comes to national security," he told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News. "Unfortunately, the problem right now is not speaking with one voice. It's that the president has largely been mute."

Salmon told Newsmax that Obama was now coming to Congress solely "because he wants somebody to blame if things go wrong.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that he cares what the Constitution says," he said. "He's proven time and time again that he doesn't care at all about what the Constitution says. I feel like he's doing it for political reasons.

"We need to use everything at our behest to destroy them. So far, his strategy has been a joke.

"Ultimately, we're going to have to have U.S. ground troops," Salmon added. "The president's policy has gone from bad to worse. Ever since he's begun this so-called strategy, I think he's flying at the seat of his pants.

"I know the generals out there want to do the right thing, but all he wants is a bunch of sycophants around him telling him what he wants to hear," he told Newsmax. "He does not reward people for being truthful and honest about what needs to be done."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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President Barack Obama will seek authorization to use military force against the Islamic State on Wednesday — but no plan will destroy the terrorists unless it lets "our generals call the shots" rather than...
matt salmon, barack obama, military, force, authorization, isis
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 08:58 PM
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