New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief [October 21, 2014]   [open pdf - 307KB]

"The armed offensive of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) in northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria has raised significant concerns for the United States. After first ordering multiple deployments of U.S. troops to Iraq to provide security to diplomatic personnel and facilities, advise Iraqi security forces, and conduct intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, President Obama began ordering U.S. military airstrikes on IS forces in Iraq in August 2014. Later in September, after laying out plans for expanded use of military force against the Islamic State in a televised speech to the American people, the President ordered U.S. military airstrikes in Syria against both IS forces and forces of the 'Khorasan Group,' identified by the President as part of Al Qaeda. […] The President in his August 2014 notifications to Congress of deployments and airstrikes in Iraq indicated his powers as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive under Article II of the Constitution gave him authority to undertake such action. Obama Administration officials and the President's September 2014 notifications2 to Congress for airstrikes and other actions in Iraq and Syria, however, have stated that two enacted authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs), the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001 AUMF; P.L. 107-40), and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (2002 AUMF; P.L. 107-243), provide authorization for certain U.S. military strikes against the Islamic State." This report discusses the legitimacy of current military action in Iraq and Syria under the aforementioned AUMFs, and Congress' proposals for a new AUMF specifically targeting the Islamic State.

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43760
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