An ally of President Obama on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cautioned against having an “itchy trigger finger” in going after ISIS.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was asked on MSNBC this morning about Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) assessment over the weekend that Obama was being “too cautious” in confronting the terror megastorm in Iraq and Syria.
“I have a lot of respect for Senator Feinstein, but I think he’s right to take his time. Listen, these are bad guys. They obviously present a threat to our friends in the region and the security of the United States,” Murphy said.
“But this is complicated, and the fact is that the American people do not have an itchy trigger finger right now. They want our president to take the time to build a coalition, both with our allies in Europe, and, more importantly, with our allies and partners in the region to make sure that we’re not getting dragged into a sectarian regional civil war.”
The senator added that he knows “a lot of my colleagues want to show strength through immediate force, but that’s where the American public is.”
“I think ISIS absolutely needs to be stopped. The question is not whether there’s a will. The question is whether there is a way right now. And with American support unilaterally being expressed in the region, you’re not gonna stop ISIS. The only way you’re gonna stop ISIS is by rallying Sunni and Shiite regions and countries to the cause as well. So they need to be stopped, but it can’t be done by the United States alone,” Murphy continued.
“So I don’t think you are going to defeat ISIS in the short term. You essentially have to dramatically weaken them and stop this perceived inevitable momentum. And so, the president is right for the time being to conduct these strikes inside Iraq that are going to substantially stop their momentum.”
He called it an “incredibly tricky dance.”
“And I think that is why the president needs to take his time here. The American public do not want us rushing into a conflict. If he wants to go into Syria with military power, he’s gotta come to Congress,” Murphy said. “And frankly, that’s my bottom line, is that right now this debate needs to be happening in Congress. Because the American people have to have some say in this as well. And I hope when we get back next week we’re gonna get a request from the president for military authorization from Congress because this debate can’t happen just inside the White House.”