U.S. Senator Chris Murphy recently returned from a week-long trip to the Syrian border, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the U.S. military base in Germany.
In a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Murphy pointed to multiple countries he visited to warn against using U.S. military money to respond to all international conflicts.
“I think that there has often been a desire to find an American solution to every international problem,” said Murphy. “As we discovered in Iraq we often let our hopes get far ahead of reality…it simply feeds one side of a civil war.”
The senator emphasized the importance of withdrawal from Afghanistan and challenged recent calls for increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war. Citing a better understanding of the nature of the opposition after visiting Turkey refugee camps and traveling to the Syrian border, Murphy said:
“There is a humanitarian imperative there. I do not think it’s clear yet that we have a national security imperative.”
The senator described himself as “very hesitant to put military money on the ground in Syria. He said if U.S. military dollars are going to be used, they should “lead to a result that makes the situation better not worse.”
The trip, Murphy said, confirmed his position on withdrawal from Afghanistan and made him realize the Afghan military “is finally up to the task.”
Joining Murphy were three other freshman senators and one Congressman. The group included Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat who voted against gun control.
“It was a trip that involved many very long plane flights,” said Murphy who declined to give details but said he and his colleague had several conversations about gun control. “Whether they will bear any fruit or not I can’t tell you but we certainly spent a lot of time talking,” he said.