Senator backs Obama’s ‘extremely limited’ goals in Iraq but has concerns

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is offering qualified support for President Barack Obama’s decision to begin bombing the ISIS terrorist group in Iraq.

Murphy is opposed to an “open-ended military campaign” and to taking sides in a possible sectarian conflict, but supports the goal of preventing genocide and protecting Americans who may be in harm’s way.

“Americans will not support a new open-ended military campaign in Iraq,” said Murphy, a Democrat first elected in 2012.

“The president has stated that his goals for immediate humanitarian and military action in Iraq are extremely limited  — to prevent a genocide of the Yezidi community and protect American personnel from imminent harm. These are legitimate reasons for action, but the president needs to better explain how this intervention is strictly time and scope limited.

“The risk,” he continued, “is that this intervention draws us into the broader fight between Sunni and Shia forces in Iraq. This is a fight the United States must stay out of, and I will oppose any efforts to continue this military campaign in order to provide tactical advantage or disadvantage to either side of this conflict.”

End ‘military hubris in the Middle East’

Murphy, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives before moving up to the Senate, said the United States must avoid taking sides in any civil war in Iraq.

“Like President Obama, I was elected to end America's recent history of military hubris in the Middle East,” Murphy said. “Many of my colleagues have called on the president to endorse a broader strategy aimed at tipping the military balance inside Iraq. They are wrong, and such action would march our nation down a familiar and disastrous course.

“Americans will support taking action abroad to protect against genocide and to keep Americans safe, but our war weary nation draws a firm line on the other side of those limited ends,” he said.