Sen. Hatch: Obama's Authorized Use of Military Force Plan is 'Utterly Stupid'

Craig Millward
By Craig Millward | February 13, 2015 | 10:00 AM EST

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) criticized Obama's draft joint resolution for Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) he sent to Congress, calling it “utterly stupid,” and saying “ I'll never understand what they're doing at the White House.”

In an interview on KSL radio on Wednesday, Hatch said “we have received word that another American hostage was killed, that's Kayla Mueller. She's a 26 year old girl from Arizona- humanitarian worker.”

“Now, that's the fourth American following James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the fourth American that has been killed by these barbarians. “

“Those acts are just a glimpse of the savagery unleashed by this terrorist organization in really large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria that it controls. And here we have the president coming up with this, I think it's utterly stupid, proposal, the Authorized Use of Military Force...but, my gosh, and he's binding the next president also, with really stupid language. I'll never understand what they're doing down there at the White House,” Hatch continued.

“He's asking for a limited authorization, with strict constraints on our own use of force -restrictions that the Islamic State can use to its advantage. If we're telling the Islamic State upfront that we will not use ground forces, will they not tailor their strategy around that fact? Tell me, if we advertise when the authorization expires, at the arbitrary date and time, won't they just hunker down and wait for that date?”

“Why would we not only unilaterally impose limitations as to which types of tools and tactics our service members can use but then also broadcast these limitations to the enemy? Keep in mind, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, he must have gone crazy. He said 'all options should be on the table' and I agree with that. First of all, what president in this country would not want to have all the authority he can have to act the way he should act?”

Hatch continued,  “I listed three things that any AUMF really needs to have. One is the authorization should clearly articulate that the executive branch is authorized to use force against the Islamic State. Second, the authorization should be flexible enough to be utilized not only against the Islamic State as it appears today, but also in whatever form the organization takes going forward.”

“And that flexibility should also include the authority to use force against any organizations that are associated with or materially are supporting the Islamic State. And finally, and I think most importantly, the president should be asking for the authorization that would not impose any artificial and unnecessary limitations such as those based on time, geography, and type of force that could interfere with our strategic objective of defeating the Islamic State.”

“He hasn't really asked for any of those the way he should have. I mean I don't understand it. He should ask for all the force he can get all the rights he can get, and he might not want to use them and that would be a decision he could make, but gee whiz to come to the Congress and to ask for a tepid thing like he's asking, it makes you wonder just who's running the White House.”

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