Obama: We are at War with ISIL

President Obama strongly urged Congress to pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for combat operations against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. “If Congress believes, as I do, that we are at war with ISIL, it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists,” said Obama. “For over a year, I have ordered our military to take thousands of airstrikes against ISIL targets. I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united, and committed, to this fight.” The Sunday night address to the nation comes on the heels of the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in which a radicalized husband and wife, armed with “powerful assault weapons,” killed 14 and wounded 21 others during an office Christmas party. Obama said there is no evidence “the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home,” but he said the act was clearly terrorism. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Dec. 3 introduced a new AUMF without limitations on the use of ground troops and with no expiration date. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also urged Congress last week to pass an AUMF, saying the Pentagon has the legal authorization to combat ISIS, but such legislation would show military members the nation supports them. (Obama transcript.)