Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat, says President Obama needs to outline the U.S. military strategy for dealing with Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria before congress can consider voting to go to war.
“Right now the president has said he does not have a strategy in that region,” Ernst says. “That is very disheartening for all of us that have served in that region. There is absolutely no excuse for not having a strategy in that region. If he would listen to his military advisors, they could better guide him on these particular issues.”
Ernst, who is the commander of an Iowa National Guard battalion, did a tour of duty in Iraq in 2003.
“So I have a very set circumstance criteria of when we would need to put boots on ground in a region,” Ernst says, “whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s somewhere else.”
If she becomes a senator, Ernst says before she’d vote to go to war, she would need to see intelligence indicating a threat to the interests of the U.S. and its allies, plus she’d need to determine whether the military has the “life support” necessary for the soldiers who would be sent to carry out the mission.
“Do we have a clear objective in that region?” Ernst says. “…What would we be doing as troops on the ground and will the American public be behind those actions?”
Ernst suggests congress hasn’t been given enough information from the Obama Administration about the mission against the Islamic State.
“We need to know what the strategy is before we can engage overseas,” Ernst says.
Ernst made her comments this morning during an interview with Radio Iowa.
The constitution gives presidents the authority to defend the country, but the constitution gives congress sole authority to declare war. Plus, in 1973 congress passed a law that requires a president to consult with congress 60 days after engaging in military action in a foreign country. October 7 will be the 60 day mark after President Obama ordered air strikes to combat the advance of Islamic militants in Iraq.