Rogers: 'Putin is playing chess and we're playing marbles'
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers had a few choice words about President Obama's actions in the Ukraine crisis.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers Sunday said the naivete of President Obama's national security advisers about Russian President Vladimir Putin's motivations is allowing Russia to outmaneuver the U.S. in Ukraine and other hot spots around the globe.
“Putin is playing chess and we're playing marbles,” Rogers, R-Mich., said on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”
“As you move down the list in Syria and the Ukraine and other areas,” he said, "they've been running circles around us.”
After Russian troops moved into the Crimea region of the Ukraine on Friday, President Obama warned Putin there would be “costs” and the administration said it would suspend participation in the planning sessions for the G-8 Summit of world leaders in June in Sochi, Russia.
On Saturday Obama and Putin spoke by phone for roughly 90 minutes. Putin reportedly said Russia reserves its right to protect its interests in the Crimea region of the Ukraine and the Russian-speaking people who live there.
Obama continued to warn that Russia's continued violation of the Ukraine's sovereignty would hurt its standing in the international community, according to the White House read-out of the call.
Rogers urged the U.S. to be more aggressive in its message to Putin, although he stopped short of advocating for any type of U.S. military action.
Instead of just pulling out of G-8 planning sessions, he said the U.S. should cancel its participation in the summit in Sochi altogether.
He also said the U.S. should take steps to try to kick Russia out of the G-8 group of world leaders and move to impose economic sanctions.
Rogers is right. Putin needs the prestige of the G-8 Summit far more than any other leader in the EU. The Russian autocrat craves the recognition that membership in the G-8 brings. And he needs the hard currency that trading with Europe brings into his coffers.
Admittedly, it isn't much - cancelling the Summit won't get Putin to bring the troops home. And Europe will be ambivalent about economic sanctions given their dependence on Russian energy. But whatever can be done. should be done if only to let Putin know that the west will meekly acquiesce in his expansionist plans.