President's Request for Military Force against ISIS is Open-Ended, Lacks Clear Objectives

CAIR-logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/12/15) The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today responded to President Obama's request to Congress seeking authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the terrorist group ISIS.

In a statement, CAIR said:

"We are troubled by the President's open-ended request to Congress for use of military force against the terrorist group ISIS. It fails to set any reasonable objectives, scope of mission, geographic boundaries, and does not include an exit strategy."

"Any AUMF adopted by Congress should be narrowly focused to target the terrorist group ISIS, with clear mission objectives and a sunset date. The United States must also ensure that American troops do not become Assad's ground or air forces. Our nation should not undermine the legitimate democratic aspirations of those fighting a Syrian dictatorship that has been murdering its own civilians for years now.'

"We are calling Congress to end its reliance on open-ended phrases that direct the military to engage unspecified "forces associated," with ISIS. The U.S. is already engaged in covert drone campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia because of similar ambiguous language inserted in the 2001 AUMF which targets al-Qaeda and the Taliban.'

"In adopting a new AUMF, Congress should also modify or sunset the existing AUMFs which have led to executive overreach and the U.S. pursuing an indefinite war against those not responsible for the events of September 11, 2001."

In November, CAIR joined a broad coalition of groups led by The Constitution Project in urging Congress to ensure that any new AUMF authorizing force against ISIS "must be clear, specific, and narrowly tailored to address the particular threat that poses."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com.


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