Mike Rogers: White House 'Not Connected to Reality' on Russia

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 10:04 PM

By Greg Richter

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The White House is not acting seriously enough on Russia's breaking of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was touted as ending the Cold War, says Rep. Mike Rogers.

President Barack Obama sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday accusing Russia of breaking the treaty by test-launching a ground-launched, long-range cruise missile.

Rogers, a Michigan Republican, for months has been urging Obama to take action on the violation.

The New York Times reported that Russia has been violating the treaty since 2008, according to U.S. officials, and the White House determined in 2011 that Russia was out of compliance.

A State Department official first raised concerns with Russian officials in May 2013, the Times reported.

The INF treaty bans nuclear missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles, and the manufacture of launchers.

Appearing on Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," Rogers described the weapons as part of a "short tactical nuclear game that's menacing, hard to track."

"They've been cheating on it," Rogers said, adding that the test came at a time when Russia is not being honest on Syria and Ukraine and was asking for greater U.S. surveillance flights over the United States and denying such flights over Russia.

"It really concerns me that they're not connected to the reality on the ground," Rogers said.

Putin understands nothing but strength, Rogers added. He suggested the United States tell Russia it is reconsidering deploying its missile defense system in eastern Europe and doing joint training exercises in Poland and Germany.

Obama didn't mention the letter on Tuesday when he announced tougher sanctions on Russia from the United States and Europe over its Ukraine policy. He did answer a press question after his statement, saying the United States is not in a new Cold War.

Rogers didn't agree.

"I'm not sure what's changed," he said, "but to say it's not a Cold War…. I'll tell you, it's awful chilly."

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