In a significant development, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul has unveiled plans to draft legislation that could authorize the use of US military force in the Middle East, should the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel escalate.
Draft Authorization for Use of Military Force
McCaul revealed this proposal in an interview with CNN on Monday. He discussed the creation of a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which would come into play "in the event it's necessary," especially if the conflict evolves into a broader proxy war involving Iran.
The Committee's Response
While the Texas Republican did not confirm whether the White House had specifically requested this AUMF, he expressed his concerns. "I don't want to confirm that. It's just that there is concern … we're currently drafting one in the event it's necessary," he mentioned.
A Hope to Avoid Military Involvement
McCaul also conveyed his hope that military intervention wouldn't be required. "I hope I never have to mark this bill up," he said. "But we have a situation in the Middle East that's growing day by day with intensity, and if Hezbollah gets involved, Iran has already threatened that if Israel enters Gaza, they will respond."
The Hezbollah Factor
Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, has been engaged in hostilities with Israel along the northern border of the country. While there have been recent Hezbollah attacks, reports suggest they have been designed to be contained, with both sides trying to avoid a full-scale war.
Israel's defense minister expressed on Sunday that the country had no interest in initiating a war on its northern border, emphasizing a desire for stability.
U.S. Military Deployment
Simultaneously, the Pentagon has reportedly made preparations for a deployment of 2,000 troops to the Middle East. Officials clarified that these troops would primarily serve in medical or advisory roles and would not be directly involved in combat.
In addition to troop deployment, the Pentagon has directed a second carrier strike group toward the eastern Mediterranean, centering around the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. A carrier strike group comprises an aircraft carrier as its focal point, complemented by support ships and attack submarines.
These developments highlight the growing concerns in the Middle East and the United States' preparations for various scenarios in response to the evolving situation.
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