Corker: Without Explicit Authorization, Obama Will Have 535 Monday-Morning Quarterbacks

By Susan Jones | September 12, 2014 | 6:23am EDT

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) (AP Photo)

( - "Triple underline -- I think it's incredibly poor judgement by the administration...not to seek aggressively and explicitly an authorization for the use of military force" in Iraq and Syria, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday.

"Things are going to go wrong, let's face it," Corker said following a closed-door briefing for senators on the president's plan. "I mean, any time there's kinetic activity, problems occur. And I just think the administration would be so much wiser to get that authorization and buy-in from Congress on the front end, instead of having, over time, 535 Monday-morning quarterbacks."

Corker, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said every president believes they have the authority to use military force, but he noted that since 1991, every other president has gone to Congress, especially when the conflict promises to last at least three years and sends the U.S. military into another country.

Corker said in seeking an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), all of the issues would be dealt with in both a classified and public setting, ensuring that all the details are "buckled down."

"That's obviously not going to happen. What the administration is seeking, and this is confusing the public, whether it's purposefully or just confusing -- what they are seeking in the CR (continuing resolution) is an authorization only to use Title 10 (funding) to train the moderate opposition (in Syria)."   

Corker said he supports such training. "But that authorization is confusing to people because they confuse that with an authorization, if you will, for the overall effort."

Corker says attaching training funds to a CR "is not the way to do it."

"I don't really support the CR," he said, although he does support the policy of training the moderate Syrian opposition.

Corker said for him, the weak link in President Obama's anti-ISIS plan is, "how do you build something on the ground in Syria" and identify targets there?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who followed Corker to the microphone, told reporters "the course is set," and she hopes everyone comes together to support it.

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