Though President Barack Obama hasn’t consulted America’s legislative branch on what to do about the ISIS threat, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)–a national security hawk from Virginia–is stepping forward himself to introduce legislation that would congressionally authorize military action against ISIS and other terror threats in the region.
“It isn’t enough for the Congress to just say the administration isn’t doing enough then not participate,” Wolf told Breitbart News in a phone interview. He continued:
The Congress has the ability to declare war under the Constitution. I think the Congress has to be involved in this. I think you also almost have to do what President [George H.W.] Bush did with regard to Desert Storm. If you put together a coalition of regional powers–they had the Saudis, even Syria was involved. You had all the countries out in the region involved. You had all of NATO involved–Americans cannot do this alone. We need to bring in all of this regional power.
Wolf’s bill, which he will introduce when Congress returns from recess next week, would–according to Wolf’s office–authorize U.S. military force against “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda and its affiliates, like al Nusra, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab and Boko Haram, while encouraging close coordination with NATO and regional allies on any action.”
Wolf, in his interview with Breitbart News about the forthcoming bill, said he’s puzzled that the president at first did not have any strategy yet to deal with ISIS, and that now the president thinks ISIS can be a “manageable problem.”
“I don’t know what the word ‘manageable’ means,” Wolf said. “I saw the comment. How do you ‘manage’ it? They have spread now from Syria to the suburbs of Baghdad. They have Mosul. You have 140 Americans, at least, with American passports who have gone over there to fight with them. We have never had this happen before. 9/11 were mainly Saudis and some other nations.”
Wolf said the threat to the United States is “very, very big.”
“Keep in mind, 170 people from my district died in the attack on the Pentagon, and there were early warnings before 9/11, but people did not take them seriously,” Wolf said, mentioning the Bremer Commission, which legislation he sponsored created. That commission produced a report in 2000 that warned of a looming al Qaeda threat–but Wolf said that “nobody paid any attention to it.” A year later, of course, terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing two into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and the other crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
ISIS, Wolf said, is more organized and powerful than even al Qaeda was. He went on:
These guys have American passports and the ability to fly back in the country just like you or me. Also, the British are there–500 or more British citizens.There are French citizens there, citizens from Scandinavia there. Also you have the weakened southern border. Why would you think they would not try to break the southern border? The Congress has to participate in this–and they have to stop people from this country from going over there, and when they come back they have to prosecute them. There was that guy who was from Vero Beach who went over there, came back here, and then went back and was involved in a suicide bombing.
The weaponry that ISIS has is very sophisticated, too, Wolf said, adding:
I saw reports that they actually have Blackhawk helicopters–I don’t know if they can fly them but they have them. said. They have weapons, Humvees, armored personnel carriers that they all took when the Iraqi military fled. They are well-armed, well-trained. They have a lot of money, are well-committed–and are a direct threat to the nation, so we have to act before something bad happens. I don’t want to be in a predicting mood, but we have to act before something bad happens.
Ultimately, no matter what the Obama administration does–if it does, indeed, act–Wolf said that “it’s important for the Congress to the debate it and it’s important for the Congress to vote.” That said, there has been no effort by the administration to reach out to him, and he’s unaware if the administration has even reached out to any members of Congress over the ISIS threat.
“They may have reached out to other members, but they haven’t reached out to me,” Wolf said. “I can’t speak for the administration.”