- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sen. Chris Murphy said Tuesday that the Islamic State’s march through Iraq and Syria must be stopped, but he does not think President Obama is being “too cautious” in his approach to the task.

“Americans do not have an itchy trigger finger right now,” the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

He said it’s vital that Americans work with their allies in the region before they are dragged into a sectarian conflict with few exit routes.

“We need to think first and shoot second,” and not the reverse, he said.

The senator said he supports Mr. Obama’s efforts to stem the Islamic State’s advancement in Iraq through airstrikes, yet the overall fight will be a long one aimed at cutting off the extremists’ support and finances.

“It can’t be done by the United States alone,” he said.

Mr. Murphy’s comments are somewhat at odds with that of fellow Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who signaled Sunday that Mr. Obama’s approach to the threat has, perhaps, been “too cautious” at times.

Republican lawmakers also criticized Mr. Obama for admitting last week he lacked a strategy for beating back the Islamic State, which has grown to an estimated 10,000 fighters and taken vast swaths of territory that blur the border between Iraq and Syria.