- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rep. Mike Rogers said Sunday the United States needs to act quickly and decisively with its Arab partners to quell the wave of extremists who are taking control of key Iraqi cities, before it’s too late.

“We can’t wait days and weeks and months to scratch our heads in some political reconciliation process,” Mr. Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee, told Fox News Sunday. “We have to ask one single question: Is al Qaeda holding land the size of India a problem for the United States? Well, it certainly was when they were in Afghanistan and had time to plan the 9/11 event.”

An al Qaeda-derived group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is causing problems for the Iraqi government and roiling the Washington political scene, as Republican lawmakers say President Obama is being too timid in his response.

Mr. Rogers said westerners are getting into the act, too, further disrupting a fragile theater that is reeling from Syria’s civil war.


“We have these Westerners who have come to jihadist Disneyland in eastern Syria that we can further radicalize, train and send back to Europe and send back to the United States,” Mr. Rogers said. “And that’s significant … because we’ve had our first American used in a suicide bombing in Syria.”

Mr. Rogers said Americans should work in conjunction with Arab allies militarily, perhaps through air strikes, although without U.S. troops on the ground.

“You can’t fire missiles and then turn around and come home,” he said. “It has to be a coordinated effort. That’s why you have to have the Arab League with you.”

He said the stakes are high and could pose a problem back home.

“I guarantee you, this is a problem that will we have to face,” he said. “And we’re either going to face it in New York City or we’re going to face it here.”