Zinke v Tester? Well, The Daily Inter Lake’s Frank Miele is already talking 2018. I imagine folks are asking about 2018 because Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT) is actually doing his job in Congress, while Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) appears to be playing party politics and seems more focused on raising money for Senate Democrats as head of the DSCC.
Forget 2018 for now, what’s really important is this question of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the ISIS Islamic terrorists, and whether our troops will simply have their hands tied behind their backs. Those are just some of the questions being raised in a new guest opinion column for The Washington Times. Plus, Tester is named to the list of the Senate’s “Obstructionist Eight” for his efforts which may lead to a partial shutdown of the government.
Zinke in The Washington Times: A war plan without a road to victory;
The president would have the military fight ISIS with its hands tied
I know from experience that ground forces are needed to accomplish the mission. The president’s AUMF request specifically states that “enduring offensive ground combat operations” will not be used. Asymmetrical warfare, like the fight against ISIS, will not be won with airstrikes alone. The former head of the Marine Corps, Commandant Gen. James Conway, who served during the war in Iraq, agrees.
Ground forces are critical to achieving the mission on a number of fronts and we cannot scatter a few troops here and there without providing sufficient support. Limiting ground forces to rescue missions and intelligence collection, as the president’s proposal seeks, will only tie our troops’ hands behind their backs. When the United States tells the enemy where the lines are drawn, and which tactics the military will and will not use, it emboldens them and puts U.S. troops at risk. We must do everything we can as a nation to ensure our soldiers have the right leadership, training, equipment and the right rules of engagement to win decisively on the battlefield.
Also from The Washington Times: Small ground force will leave larger footprint, former SEAL says
Inserting small groups of U.S. commandos into the fight against the Islamic State would require a larger American ground force than many would expect, says a congressman who is also a former Navy SEAL.
Deploying any troops in the Middle East will require a large U.S. footprint, including medical personnel and equipment to evacuate injured troops, Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana Republican, said Sunday.
ICYMI: Zinke on CNN’s SOTU
Watch: In 90 Seconds, Retired Lt. General Absolutely Destroys Obama’s Plan to Fight the Islamic State
The Daily Inter Lake: Let’s get ready to rumble … Zinke vs. Tester (now behind a paywall)
In an interview with Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle, Zinke said that Tester is “in a tough spot” because as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, “he’s raising money for Elizabeth Warren” and for “many in the Democratic caucus who don’t represent Montana values.”
It’s way too early to predict, but Zinke could be landing some jabs now with the boxing strategy in mind of weakening an opponent early in hopes of landing a disabling body blow later, let’s say 2018 when Sen. Tester will be up for re-election.
Late last week, Zinke called out Tester for blocking DHS funding, and threatening to shut down part of the government. Tester is now listed as one of the Senate’s “Obstructionist Eight.”
— Aaron Flint (@aaronflint) February 16, 2015
The Daily Signal- Boehner: House ‘Has Done Its Job,’ Homeland Security Funding Up to Senate Democrats
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is “certainly” prepared to allow the agency to shut down because Senate Democrats “would be to blame.”
“The House has done their job under the Constitution,” said Boehner. “It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”
Boehner defended combining the efforts to fund Homeland Security and to stop the president’s “overreach,” saying that “the House acted” because “Congress just can’t sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office.”