Cole legislation authorizes fight against ISIL worldwide

Legislation authorizing the use of force (AUMF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) and its associated force was introduced on Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) to encourage Congress to discuss and debate U.S. military strategy.

The measure, H. Con. Res. 106, is similar to legislation that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) previously introduced. Under the legislation, no geographic restraints would be placed on the U.S. military in its fight against ISIL. The legislation has no expiration on the authorization, no prohibition on the use of American ground forces if needed, and no restrictions on the ability of the United States to disrupt online terrorist recruitment activities, propaganda or other communications.

“Considering the despicable violence caused by ISIL and the innocent blood shed, it is long past time to initiate debate in Congress and agree on a strategy to destroy this dangerous terrorist enemy,” Cole said. “Given ISIL’s rapidly spreading influence and intention to harm the United States, our allies and indeed all of humanity, I believe that Congress has the responsibility to weigh in. While I am pleased that many of my colleagues have recognized the need to take action, Congress has yet to consider a military authorization that allows the president to deal with this present threat to the security of our nation and safety of our citizens.

“In the days ahead, I am hopeful that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will engage in the relevant discussions and agree on a strategy that provides the president with the appropriate authority and most effective tools to combat ISIL. I realize that the legislation I introduced is unlikely to be the final word, but I believe it is a good place for Congress to start the discussion, debate any differences and offer suggestions for confronting the ongoing threats to our national security. But more importantly, it reignites the conversation that should be taking place in Congress to preserve the war making authority of the legislative branch.”

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