WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Wednesday joined CNN International’s Amanpour with Christiane Amanpour to discuss the United States’ role in the world following the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Murphy joined the program the day after his CODEL returned from the Mediterranean, including Lebanon, Israel and Tunisia.
On the argument that the U.S. leaving Afghanistan signals a withdrawal from the rest of the world, Murphy said: “This idea that the only way that you defeat terrorism is with U.S. military occupations abroad is nonsense, and I reject it. In the Mediterranean, certainly people are concerned about whether the withdrawal from Afghanistan suggests a broader American pull out from the world. My argument was it's exactly the opposite. It allows the American foreign policy establishment, the State Department, the Department of Defense to frankly invest in other fights that are winnable.”
Murphy, who met with President of Tunisia Kais Saied last week, also discussed the United States’ ability to be better partners following Afghanistan withdrawal: “Tunisia is an early democracy that's going through a bit of a crisis today. You know, when half of your Department of Defense and State Department is tied up with Iraq and Afghanistan, it doesn't give you a lot of resources to try to help build a functioning democracy in a place like Tunisia. So my argument is that by getting out of Afghanistan, we're going to be a much stronger partner for peace and democracy throughout other parts of the world.”
On the United States’ shifting foreign policy focus, Murphy said: “Joe Biden sees the fight of the next 50 years as between American-style democracy and Chinese and Russian style-autocracy…[W]e're now able to take those resources and all of that energy that we spent on Afghanistan and invest it in fights that we're just more likely to win – whether it be pushing back against Russian propaganda in Eastern Europe, or working with nascent democracies in and around China to bolster them against Chinese aggression.”
Murphy met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog last week. He said: “[I]t is important to note that this government has taken some really important steps: one, to do outreach with the Palestinians, the first government-to-government meetings at the highest levels in over a decade. And they have begun to open up humanitarian pathways into Gaza. They're trying to relieve the suffering there in a way that the Netanyahu government would have never contemplated. This is obviously a very unique coalition government…but I left pretty impressed with the seriousness of the government, and some of the early steps that they have taken to lower the temperature, both inside Israel and in the relationship with Palestinians.”
Murphy authored an op-ed in USA Today in support of President Biden’s decision to end the longest war in our nation’s history. Murphy released a statement after the Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul. Murphy delivered remarks on the Senate floor on the situation in Afghanistan. Murphy has long been supportive of President Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Click here to view the entirety of Murphy’s interview.