Ground troops are a tactic. What’s your strategy Mr. President?

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Obama Asks Congress to Back Islamic State Fight.

President Barack Obama asked Congress for new powers to wage military operations against the Islamic State militant group, kicking off a renewed national debate over the scope of wartime powers that should be afforded to the commander-in-chief.

American warplanes have pounded Islamic State targets for six months, but Mr. Obama on Wednesday said the proposed resolution authorizing military force is important not only for the U.S. strategy against the group, but also to the cohesion of an international coalition, which includes Arab countries.

The new powers must be approved by Congress, where a debate quickly began taking shape as both Democrats and Republicans voiced sharp concerns. Democrats advocated for stricter limitations on presidential war power, particularly on the use of ground troops; many Republicans said the president needs greater flexibility in the fight against the group in Syria and Iraq than Mr. Obama has proposed. The U.S. has the authority to keep fighting while Congress debates the proposal.

The White House worked with Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the draft language in hopes of increasing its chances of winning bipartisan support.

The initial reaction by lawmakers suggested a rare case in which Republicans wanted to provide Mr. Obama more leeway than did members of his own party. At the same time, Republican calls for greater presidential authority to wage war against Islamic State run counter to Mr. Obama’s view that military power should be used sparingly and in coordination with local partners. In addition, the more expansive authority GOP lawmakers favor would be available to the president who succeeds Mr. Obama, possibly a Republican.

The new authorization faces a lengthy road to approval in Congress. House Speaker John Boehner said Mr. Obama’s request is “the beginning of a legislative process” of hearings, committee votes and amendments. “So at this point, I think that we’ve got an awful lot of work to do before I get into what I’m for, what I’m against.”

Mr. Obama asserted that the resolution reflects his “core objective to destroy ISIL.” Republicans have questioned whether his strategy is aimed at destroying or containing the group.

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Mr. Boehner questioned how this request fit into what strategy President Obama actually had to fight ISIS, since he hadn’t seen a strategy.