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Murphy Seeks to Be Progressive Voice in Foreign Policy Debates

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic senator has launched a new campaign-style effort to lend a voice to progressives in foreign policy, saying there’s a void in the current debate.  

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy’s new campaign, which features a new website and social media engagement, makes the case that those with more liberal views on foreign affairs have been underserved in current debates about global hotspots, with the conversation focusing on disagreements between the likes of President Barack Obama, and hawkish and libertarian Republicans — like the split between John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, for instance. “The dominance of the President, Senator McCain, and Senator Paul on foreign policy should trouble progressives. Why? To state the obvious, because none of these three camps adequately represents the views of most American progressives,” Murphy wrote in a post on Medium .  

In that post, Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that a progressive view might include a substantial increase in the budget for diplomacy relative to the Pentagon.  

“A substantial transfer of financial resources from the military budget to buttress diplomacy and foreign aid so that our global anti-poverty budget, not our military budget, equals that of the other world powers combined,” Murphy said. “A new humility to our foreign policy, with less emphasis on short-term influencers like military intervention and aid, and more effort spent trying to address the root causes of conflict.”  

Murphy’s view is also interesting given the extent to which Connecticut’s economy has been reliant on defense production, with facilities that manufacture everything from jet engines and helicopters to submarines. It’s also a stark contrast from his predecessor, independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who while a member of the Democratic caucus generally aligned with McCain on defense and national security questions.  

The Murphy website, which is run through his campaign operation, urges supporters to submit ideas. It comes as the Senate is going to be faced with a number of foreign policy issues in the coming months, including a battle over imposing additional conditional sanctions against Iran and authorizing the use of military force against the terror group ISIS.  


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