Asked what happens if Congress can’t find bipartisan agreement to pass an authorization of military force, Graham indicated that current war efforts would be preferable to passing an AUMF he does not agree with.
“My goal is to do no harm to the war effort,” Graham said. “Harm to the war effort would be passing an AUMF that restricts our ability to win and destroy ISIL.”
The president described his administration’s draft AUMF as a compromise document specific enough to constrain his running room, and yet flexible enough to adapt to changing events and conditions. He said the limitations sought for the remainder of his presidency and the outset of the next administration create no deadlines or timetables for the mission, and don’t tie his or any future president’s hands.
The administration believes it has latitude under a new authorization to insert U.S. intelligence agents on the ground, conduct rescue operations (as has already occurred in Syria), and deploy U.S. forces into dangerous territory to help call in airstrikes or advise Iraqi and other allied fighters.