After the death of American hostage Kayla Mueller, the Obama administration decided to change its involvement in the ongoing ISIS conflict, and the president proposed a new plan of action for the U.S. military.

Obama’s tentative policy outlines a three-year authorization for use of military force against ISIS, which would allow the president to command military forces in ISIS-threatened regions. While this new plan may seem to encourage more U.S. involvement in the Middle East, it also notably restricts the use of American ground troops in the region. Obama stresses the point of avoiding a prolonged conflict in the fight against ISIS.  “I’m convinced the United States should not get dragged back into another ground war in the Middle East. That’s not in our national security interest,” Obama said on Feb. 11 in a speech to Congress  at the White House. He also added that he would only send American troops into harm’s way if absolutely necessary.

This controversial plan has been met with mixed reactions, both from the American public and from Congress. A poll conducted by NBC found that 54 percent of Americans want the authorization to pass. But confidence in Obama’s strategy for dealing with ISIS has noticeably faltered, with only 45 percent of Americans having a good deal of confidence, while 48 percent have little to no confidence. Despite some negative feedback, Republican Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mark Kirk of Illinois have both applauded Obama’s stance on ISIS, stating that the authorization for the use of military force is necessary in some situations.

In contrast, some congressmen are skeptical of the broadness of the plan. “Unless [the new plan] is further defined, it might be seen as too big a statement to ultimately embrace,” Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said. “Because, forget about Barack Obama. There will be a new president in two years. And this authorization would go into that new presidency.”

Others have criticized the plan’s limit on military force. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said that Obama needs to threaten ISIS with all the force he canand should not set limits. Hatch also went as far as to call the plan stupid, claiming that Obama is “stupidly tying his own hands.”

With the growing threat of ISIS in the Middle East, Obama’s proposed new plan in response to the Kayla Mueller death has yet to be passed. Even if it passes, it remains to be seen whether it will be effective.

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