Rep. Mike Rogers: Obama Didn't Inform House Panel of Afghanistan Plans

Image: Rep. Mike Rogers: Obama Didn't Inform House Panel of Afghanistan Plans

Thursday, 29 May 2014 10:00 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says the Obama administration "lone wolfs" tough questions on Afghanistan, but hasn't given his staff any information about its plans for the war.

Rogers, R-Mich., speaking at George Washington University on Wednesday, said that his staff has been asking the White House about its plans for over a year, but hasn't been told anything, The Hill reported.

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year and then withdraw most of those forces by 2016.

Rogers complained that the Obama administration makes such decisions without proper input from lawmakers, and that the president is more worried about his legacy than doing what is needed while dealing with Afghanistan.

"A policy like this can't be because 'I want to have a line in my biography that says I ended the war in Afghanistan,'" Rogers said.

Rogers complained his committee needed to know about Obama's strategy for Afghanistan ahead of time, so members could decide how to proceed when it comes to sensitive personnel such as Central Intelligence Agency officers stationed in Afghanistan.

"You have to give us the troop numbers so that, in this year’s budget, from an intelligence perspective, we can appropriately fund operations that would happen separately from [the Defense Department] on the ground in Afghanistan, and I hope we’re not being too cute by half there," he said, according to The Hill.

Intelligence operations generally work independently from the military troops, but still rely on the military for quick strike forces, medical help, and other necessary assistance functions.

Rogers said the lack of input from Obama's administration has been "the most frustrating experience" he has had concerning national security since he's been in Congress.

"You can’t have an executive branch that lone wolfs these things without consultation from the folks who are going to have to implement all of the aspects of these plans," Rogers said. "And I think it’s, candidly, quite dangerous.”

Earlier this week, just after Obama's announcement, Rogers said he is concerned that the timeline will create new headaches when it comes to al-Qaida terror operations, The Daily Beast reported

"Even now, an al-Qaida safe haven is emerging in northeastern Afghanistan,” Rogers said, according to the Daily Beast. "And I question whether the enemy will take further advantage of the announced timeline to renew its efforts to launch new operations, as we see them attempting in Iraq and Syria."

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