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Detail Needed Before Sending Troops After Terrorists

Debate over a critical issue of U.S. policy – defeating Islamic terrorists – appears to have taken on an impressive bipartisan tone. Both Democrat and Republican members of Congress have serious concerns about President Barack Obama’s request they authorize additional use of military force.

Air strikes, assassinations using unmanned drones and covert operations already have been used extensively against terrorists, including the Islamic State. Obama has done that without asking for lawmakers’ approval.

Precisely what is it that he has in mind in seeking a formal resolution now?

Some in Congress worry about giving the White House a blank check for use of U.S. ground troops in the Middle East. Obviously, that should not happen.

But senators and representatives also should be asking for enough detail about Obama’s plan to ensure it provides a reasonable chance of success. No more American lives should be wasted in futile attempts to “contain” terrorists.

Lawmakers of both parties should view that as a litmus test – and reject any presidential proposal that does not meet it.

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