- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 31, 2014

President Obama’s foreign policy is in “absolute free-fall” amid the rise of the Islamic State, and Western allies no longer view the U.S. as a leader in confronting religious extremism in the Middle East, the House intelligence chairman said Sunday.

Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, said the White House sat on its hands while Islamic fighters grew in influence, recruited abroad and seized swaths of Iraq and Syria.

“Europe has obviously stood up and said, we have a huge problem. [U.K. Prime Minister] David Cameron came out and said, not only do we have a problem, here’s my plan to deal with it,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “And so the United States seems to be in this malaise of not being that concerned.”

Mr. Obama is set to strategize this week with NATO allies at a summit in Wales. Whether to use military might to stem the rise of the Islamic State and how to address unrest in eastern Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda.

Taking it slow and coalescing around a plan is “not wrong, it’s just very, very late in the game,” Mr. Rogers said.

For instance, the recent beheading of journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State was “just a symptom of what was a long and growing problem for the United States.”

The British Parliament this week will consider a measure that lets the government seize passports from citizens believed to be sympathetic to the Islamic State, and the congressman said he would be open to a similar measure in the U.S.

But, he warned, “we’d have to be careful about how we do it.”

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