The debate over President Obama's authority to use the U.S. armed forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria might just come down to the definition of the word "enduring."
This is ironic – considering it's just a few weeks after the administration celebrated the end of Operation Enduring Freedom (italics mine), which kept U.S. troops in Afghanistan for more than a decade.
Since the summer, some lawmakers have wanted the administration to seek formal congressional approval of ongoing military actions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria – actions thathave cost the country $1.86 billion so far, and will likely get even more expensive in the future, according to the National Priorities Project,. In his recent budget proposal, the president asked Congress for another $5.3 billion for the fight against ISIS in fiscal 2016.
To put the costs of the anti-ISIS operation in perspective, the country is spending about $7.5 million per day on the operation. By contrast, the war in Afghanistan cost the country as much as $244 million per day. Costs for the latter, however, are winding down. In his budget proposal for 2016, Obama requested a net reduction of 21 percent in appropriations for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which pays for much of the military's activities in the Middle East.