The Washington Times - March 28, 2013, 07:52AM

Rep. Mike Rogers said Thursday the United States has a “moral obligation” to get ahold of chemical weapons in Syria before the country’s civil war spirals into a humanitarian crisis that afflicts the region and beyond.

Mr. Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a Michigan Republican, said President Obama should mobilize special units — not “boots on the ground” like other Middle East conflicts —who can train reliable opposition forces to secure dangerous weapon systems.


The influence of al Qaeda and Hezbollah in Syria makes the situation all the more urgent, the Michigan Republican told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“We’ve got to act, and we’ve got to act now,” he said.

He said there is bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress for a “very small and effective effort now” before the situation starts “spiraling out of control.”

“You can’t just hope for a good outcome in Syria — it’s not gonna happen,” he told the program.

Mr. Rogers reassured the show’s hosts that he is not proposing a large U.S. military footprint in Syria.

“I just don’t think we should idly sit by, when we have the capability without big U.S. involvement,” he said. “And that’s the difference. It’s not Iraq, it’s not Afghanistan.”