Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism

Rep. Mike Rogers: 'Aggressive Tempo' Needed Against ISIS

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 07:38 PM

In the wake of a suicide attack in the Iraqi city of Erbil, Rep. Mike Rogers is calling for a stepped-up U.S. response against the Islamic State (ISIS).

"We need an aggressive tempo in order to make the peshmerga [Kurdish fighters] more impactful and the Iraqi military more impactful, and they'll need U.S. soldiers with special capabilities with them," Rogers said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Kurdish peshmerga forces are leading the fight against ISIS in northern Iraq, while the Iraqi military is ISIS' primary foe in the south. ISIS also is fighting both the Syrian government and newly U.S.-backed "moderate" rebels in Syria.

U.S. help makes the Iraqi and Kurdish fighters far more effective, as well as the Syrian rebels, Rogers said.

"We don't want this fanning and expanding the borders of where the current conflict is because it will cause more instability, more problems across the Middle East," he said. "Remember, their stated goal is to go into Israel and Jordan and Lebanon, and that is concerning."

Rogers would not comment on the vetting process for Syrian rebel groups that would be trained by the United States.

Rogers said he doesn't think Americans were targeted in the Erbil attack, but he had different thoughts about Americans being killed in Jerusalem, including Tuesday's attack on a synagogue.

"Israelis are being targeted, and certainly an American Jew is a big target for any of those targeted attacks simply because of the press that it gets and the chaos that it creates," Rogers said.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman said the two Palestinian cousins who carried out the attack were inspired by an ISIS-linked terrorist group and were not lone wolves.

"We think it was a faction of that that conducted this attack, so it was clearly targeted and clearly political violence and clearly terrorism," he said.

Turning to President Barack Obama's plan to grant amnesty to more than 3 million illegal immigrants this week, Rogers echoed his fellow Republicans that the president would be usurping powers not granted to him in the Constitution.

But even if he were acting within his abilities, Obama should avoid the move simply because the issue is so divisive, he said.

"I will guarantee you this will cause real problems across America and really divide America," he said.

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In the wake of a suicide attack in the Iraqi city of Erbil, Rep. Mike Rogers is calling for a stepped-up U.S. response against the Islamic State (ISIS).
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Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 07:38 PM
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