This week, when President Barack Obama spoke before journalists about his wish for a Congressional resolution to give him limited authority to expand war against ISIL (ISIS), he surrounded himself with two former Democratic Senators and one former Republican Senator, who made up his top cabinet advisers in the past two years—Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
As Senators from Delaware, Massachusetts, and Nebraska, these three former Senators were clearly skeptical about war resolutions. Biden voted against the Persian Gulf War Resolution in 1991, and all three were critics of the Iraq War and how it evolved. Also, Kerry and Hagel were Vietnam War veterans who were always skeptical about war prosecution by different Presidents.
In many ways, one could say that the four men, including President Obama, make up the most anti war group ever to govern together, and this is refreshing, as all four, while seeing the need to fight against ISIL (ISIS), do not wish to send combat troops back to the Middle East, after failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have caused 6,500 deaths combined, over 30,000 wounded veterans, and a reality that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become a major problem, with 22 veterans every day committing suicide, and hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans.
The American people have made clear in polls that while they are ready to fight ISIL (ISIS), they have no desire to become engaged in a long, drawn out war with American troops fighting and dying, when it should be the people of the area to fight to protect themselves, with appropriate American financial aid and weapons, but not large numbers of American troops committed to a ground war that goes on endlessly!
Meanwhile, there is the pro war element in the Republican Party, led by Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, with much of the party joining their war chants, but with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul representing the anti war group, that wishes to avoid major ground troop involvement, setting up a major conflict within the GOP for the next Presidential election.