WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praised his colleagues for thoughtful action on a resolution that would authorize the limited use of the United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Senator Cardin authored a provision included in the committee-passed resolution that will terminate the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) three years after the date of the enactment of the Act to allow for Congress to revise and modernize that Authorization, and allow time for appropriate Congressional oversight and debate. Senator Cardin also helped draft language to make it clear that there is no authorization for the use of combat ground troops.
“Authorizing the use of military force is not a decision I take lightly. There is no question that ISIL, a barbaric terrorist organization, is a threat to the United States, our interests, and our allies in the region. ISIL has beheaded Americans; murdered, kidnapped, and tortured thousands of Iraqi and Syrian civilians; and sold hundreds of women into slavery. But ISIL is not Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that attacked America on 9/11.The American people and our troops deserve a more thoughtful approach to countering ISIL’s extremism, not another application of the grossly overused 2001 Authorization.
“It’s important for Congress to act. The President has Constitutional authorities but we also have a responsibility for appropriate oversight. The 2001 AUMF been used over 30 times to justify American military intervention and could keep America in a state of perpetual war. It is time that we close this chapter, which is why I offered an amendment to sunset the 2001 AUMF in three years so that Congress can begin the process of working to modernize that Authorization in the same manner that we were able to modernize the 2001 Patriot Act. This isn’t about tying the hands of the Administration, it’s about Congressional oversight and looking at war and U.S. military engagement in a more thoughtful, measured and concise way.”