Obama Talks Up Long Iraq War, Congressional Role Unclear

Sen. Corker Pushes for Congress to 'Weigh In' on Conflict

President Obama has made his latest in a long line of comments on the new Iraq War today, declaring “rooting out a cancer like ISIS won’t be easy and it won’t be quick.”

As usual, the focus was on a long war with a growing collection of missions attached, today’s being revenge for the execution of journalist James Foley. As the signs of an open-ended war in Iraq mount, the question of Congressional involvement remains unresolved.

The administration has downplayed the idea of even needing Congressional authorization for wars, saying they can launch them unilaterally and will “keep Congress informed” of the decisions they make. Where Congress as a whole would stand on such a vote is unclear, though many seem reluctant to hold the vote at all, preferring to avoid scrutiny of their position on the war come election time.

Sen. Bob Corker (R – TN) is among those pushing for a vote, saying that there is a general consensus among Congress that they should be a part of the war-starting process, and should at the very least “weigh in.”

At present, however, exactly what the war they’re weighing in on looks like is a mystery to everyone but the administration’s inner-circle, with expansions coming sometimes several in a single day, and the end game planning, as with so many American wars these days, non-existent.

The public is being taught, slowly but surely, to fear ISIS, but that doesn’t mean they’ll embrace another open-ended war in Iraq. That’s going to leave many Congressmen, ever testing the air, reluctant to have a vote down publicly either way on the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.