The United States has lost its leverage in Syria, handed it to Russia and given President Vladimir Putin a "big win" on the world stage, said Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"This is a Russian plan for Russian interests," Rogers said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "There's not one ounce of chemical weapons … [that] came off the battlefield, but we’ve given up every ounce of our leverage when it comes to trying to solve the broader Syrian problem, because we've taken away a credible military threat."
Rogers said not only is he skeptical of the deal reached to control Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical-weapons stockpile but also is certain Russia, Hezbollah and Iran will take advantage of it.
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"If we wanted a transition with Assad, we've just fired our last round, and we have taken our ability to negotiate a settlement from the White House, and we've sent it with Russian to the United Nations, and that’s a dangerous place to be if you want an overall settlement," he said.
Rogers said Putin is strategizing against the United States, describing the Russian president as "playing chess" while President Barack Obama is "playing tic tac toe."
"I think his hand would have been strengthened significantly if Congress would have given him the authority for a surgical strike to degrade their chemical-weapons use, and he looked like a commander-in-chief," he said of Obama. "All of that confusion allowed Putin to step in and fill the void. This is the guy that we put in charge in helping us get out of a sticky wicket here at home politically, to manage the fight in Syria," he said. "This was a big win for him."
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