Accession Number:



A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Issues and Current Proposals

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service Washington United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Since the United States embarked on a strategy to counter the Islamic State also known as ISIL or ISIS in 2014, some Members of Congress have raised concerns about the Presidents underlying authority to engage in anti-IS military operations. In the 114th Congress, both houses of Congress took steps to revisit the possibility of considering legislation to provide authority for the use of military force AUMF against the Islamic State. Interest has continued into the first session of the 115th Congress and with the start of the Trump Administration.In 2014, the armed offensive of the Islamic State in northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria raised significant concerns for the United States. After first ordering multiple deployments of U.S. troops to Iraq to provide security to diplomatic personnel and facilities, advise Iraqi security forces, and conduct intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, President Obama began ordering U.S. military airstrikes on IS forces in Iraq in August 2014. Later in September, after laying out plans for expanded use of military force against the Islamic State in a televised speech to the American people, the President ordered U.S. military airstrikes in Syria against both IS forces and forces of the Khorasan Group, identified by the President as part of Al Qaeda. In 2015, the President ordered new deployments to Iraq, and the Administration announced deployment of a small number of special operations forces to Syria to conduct military operations that involve advising regional partner armed forces but also can include unilateral U.S. operations. In 2016, both U.S. military operations and deployments of U.S. Armed Forces increased to continue the campaign against the Islamic State.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: