On Wednesday September 17, 2014, a polarized House authorized military aid to Syrian rebels combating ISIS, in support of Obama's objective for a non-ground war.
Although the victorious legislation typifies Obama's tactful plan to combat ISIS indirectly, the 273-156 sweeping win also highlights an internecine feud among members of congress, cleft between the nostalgic fear of entering another decade-old conflict and the confusion of how to approach the world’s burgeoning jihadist chieftain.
The legislation does not include large funds, nor has it gotten support from a number of Democrats like Peter Welch, Representative of Vermont, who "[he]does not think the plan has any reasonable prospect of success."
Obama promised on the same night at Macdill AirForce Base in Tampa, Florida that the U.S. and its allies would decimate ISL in Iraq and Syria without the use of combat troops.
The bipartisan victory was achieved by appeals from the president and his close officials to support them in addressing the terrorist crisis. Yet an unlikely dynamic has developed in the midst of political discussions. Republicans and Democrats have shown equal opposition to large scale drone operations to combat ISIS, paralleling characteristics of the conflict with inauspicious circumstance that led to the failed military campaign in Afghanistan.
With the authorization came provisions to report on its progress of military training for the Syrian Army as well as how training will be administered. These authorizations are valid until December reiterating its touted short-term necessity.
The common argument against the bill from many Republicans and Democrats is that arming and training Syrian rebels is not as easy as it sounds, and that a step in this direction has the potential to enlarge the sectarian war. The last thing Americans wants is to be involved in another sectarian war, or worse be the impetus behind it by supplying weapons and training to different ethnic or religious groups.
While many members of congress remain incredulous as to the success of supporting Islamist rebels in fighting another group of Islamists, Senators say it is very likely to pass.
“After a decade of massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can support their own countries futures” said Obama in the hopes that the international coalition being formed will be more successful than past attempts to stabilize the region.