For almost a year, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has pushed for a broad authorization for the use of military force, which would be just short of a formal declaration of war, to expand the U.S. conflict with ISIS to include ground operations.
Following the ISIS-inspired Islamist attack in San Bernardino, California, Graham introduced a bill to do just that. He quickly found a co-sponsor in soldier-turned-politician U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
"For well over a year, ISIS has declared war on our nation and continues to threaten attacks against the American people, while committing devastating acts of terrorism across the globe," Ernst said. "It is completely unacceptable that our commander in chief has failed to outline a comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS. We must preserve the safety and security of the American people, and that starts with our president making a commitment to destroy ISIS."
Graham, a long-shot candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has campaigned as a confrontational war-hawk. He has previously called for 10,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Iraq and Syria each as part of a larger regional ground force to go after the terrorist group.
The Graham-Ernst AUMF bill would give President Obama the authority to "use all necessary and appropriate force against ISIS and associated forces, organizations and persons."
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