Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) wants to “end any ambiguity about the president’s authority – or the Congress’ support – for a U.S.-led international coalition to disrupt and eliminate ISIS” with a piece of legislation that appears to eliminate constraints on the White House’s ability to strike just about anyone, anywhere it pleases.
Wolf’s bill to “authorize the use of military force against international terrorism” targets by name no fewer than six terror groups (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda and its affiliates, like al Nusra, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab and Boko Haram) operating in a spate of countries.
Furthermore, it leaves the door open for the president, working with NATO and regional allies, “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those countries, organizations, or persons” associated with the aforementioned terror groups or “any other emerging regional terrorist groups that share common violent extremist ideology with such terrorist groups, regional affiliates, or emerging terrorist groups.”
“For far too long the Obama Administration and the Congress have been debating whether or not authority exists for action to address this threat,” Wolf said. “This resolution would provide clear authority for the president and our military, working with coalition partners, to go after these terrorists, whether in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere. We cannot continue operating on outdated authorities passed 13 years ago; it is time for this Congress to vote.”
The rife ambiguity in who, where and for what reason Wolf’s bill would give the government authority to kill appears aimed at eliminating the government’s need to provide justification for controversial military actions in many of the same ways post-9/11 legislation removed barriers for surveillance.
In other words, the U.S. is already doing much of what Wolf’s legislation proposes but the legislation would effectively do away with certain political consequences of greasing the wheels of the military-industrial complex.
Wolf’s legislation could be the result of the lawmaker’s legitimate fear of ISIS, or the desire to authorize executive authority to wage perpetual war on an ever changing, ever present and easy to create faceless enemy could come from a place of far greater political purity.
Here’s a look at the biggest employers in Virginia’s 10th congressional district, Wolf’s home turf, courtesy of the state’s labor market information website. You know, just for fun: