Lynch Statement on the President's Request for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force

Feb 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on National Security, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s request for a new authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

“The President’s request for expanded authority under the War Powers Resolution asks Congress to give the President and his successor the option to reintroduce ground forces into combat situations in Iraq, as well as Syria and any other nation where ISIL may operate. With all due respect to the President, I cannot support that request.  I think that what this proposes is a return to the same policy that has been thus far unsuccessful in Iraq and expands that policy to Syria.  I think it’s important to remember that from 2003 to 2013, the U.S. taxpayers spent over $25 billion training and equipping Iraqi military, border patrol, and police. During that time, over 4,400 U.S. service members were killed and over 31,000 were wounded in an effort to give Iraqis the time and space to develop a competent fighting force to defend their country. In spite of that effort, a much smaller force of ISIL fighters has been able to take control of large areas of that country, as Iraqi security forces have failed or refused to fight. I cannot support an initiative that will put America’s sons and daughters in the place of Iraqi citizens who have been trained and equipped to do that job.”