WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, released the following statement after today’s hearing titled “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against ISIL”.

Today’s hearing with Secretary Kerry underscored the need for an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL. For too long, Congress hasn’t fulfilled its constitutional obligation to the public and engaged in a debate over an AUMF, but I’m glad we’re finally having those discussions, which I’ve called for since last summer. Congress needs to reassert its role in foreign affairs, and we should never kick the can down the road on questions of war.

The U.S. needs to learn from the mistakes of ten years of disastrous war policy in Iraq. Indeed, it was the misguided invasion of Iraq and mismanagement of the ensuing conflict that helped create ISIL in the first place. If nothing else, we should have learned by now that the massive deployment of ground forces in the Middle East creates more enemies than it eliminates.

That is why I believe a new AUMF authorizing action against ISIL must have commonsense restrictions on force recognizing the failings of the past. I am glad that Secretary Kerry expressed a willingness to engage in a discussion about these types of limitations during his testimony today. But the time is now to pass an AUMF, and we shouldn't let potentially endless backroom negotiations stand in the way of Congress fulfilling its constitutional duty to authorize war before the end of the 2014 session.