The Failure of Military Interventions Haunts President’s Push for New Congressional War Authorization

Posted Feb. 18, 2015

MP3 Interview with Matthew Hoh, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, conducted by Scott Harris


Atrocities committed by ISIS terrorists continue to be the focus of world attention. After a succession of beheadings of western hostages and the burning alive of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot, ISIS released a new video documenting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Libya. The next day, Egyptian fighter jets bombed ISIS targets in Libya that included militant training sites and weapons storage areas. ISIS now reportedly has a presence in nine nations beyond its area of operations in Syria and northern Iraq.

With public fear rising about religiously-inspired violence in the Middle East and a series of recent attacks in western Europe, President Obama asked Congress on Feb. 11 to formally authorize the use of military force in the fight against ISIS, although U.S. and coalition air strikes have been carried out since August. The president stated that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, does not call for the deployment of ground troops in Iraq or Syria. The joint resolution would limit his authority to wage a military campaign against ISIS to three years and does not authorize "enduring offensive ground combat operations."

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Matthew Hoh, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, a former Marine captain who in 2009, resigned his State Department post as the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province in protest of American policy in Afghanistan. Here, he explains why he opposes President Obama’s request for congressional war authorization to combat ISIS.

Find more analysis and commentary on the U.S. war against ISIS, by visiting Matthew Hoh's website at and Center for International Policy at

Related Links: