Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the Proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force

I welcome the president’s proposed resolution for the “Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” and urge Congress to pass it.

While existing AUMFs provide legal authority for our ongoing military operations in Iraq and Syria, I agree with the president that bipartisan support for the proposed ISIL AUMF would provide an important signal of support to DoD personnel, of commitment to our partners, and of resolve to ISIL.

The president’s draft language reflects important input from Congress, and would give our personnel the support and flexibility needed in our military operations against ISIL. The Department of Defense will continue to work with members of Congress to secure this resolution. Given the nature of our adversary and the complexity of our ongoing campaign, I urge Congress to avoid any undue restraints on the commander-in-chief’s choices in the effort to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.

ISIL represents a serious threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. The depths of ISIL’s barbarism are matched only by the scale of its ambition. DoD personnel are working each day – with 60 coalition partners – in our campaign against ISIL. We want Congress’ full, bipartisan support in this fight because the country is stronger when both parties and both branches of government stand and work together.

Release No: NR-049-15
February 11, 2015

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