Rep. Rogers: Foreign policy more than 'hashtags and selfies'
On "Face the Nation," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers loaded up both barrels and let the Obama administration have it.
“You can’t base your policy based on what’s trending on Twitter,” the Michigan Republican said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” "It has to be more than hashtags and selfies.”
Rogers said that the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Islamist group Boko Haram was part of a larger problem that's spreading across the Middle East and Africa.
The kidnapping prompted a global response, particularly on social media, where Twitter users organized around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Even first lady Michelle Obama joined in, tweeting a photo of herself holding the hashtag on a piece of paper.
There is a “new ecosystem of terrorism" that runs from Nigeria to northern Africa to AQAP in Yemen to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Rogers said.
“This is a huge and growing problem that’s been relatively ignored. I just got back from Chad. Chad has been screaming for help from the United States for two years. On one front, Boko Haram, on the north, they have Al Qaeda, and on the southeast, they have Al Shabbad.”
“Can we help with the girls? I think we can and we should and we must,” Rogers said. But “we also have to worry about the women of Afghanistan — some 11 million. We’re getting ready to walk away from them. In Syria, we have 12 million women who are under siege.”
“This is going to continue to happen unless we have a robust, holistic approach to what is radicalism and extremism popping up all over,” he said.
The administration has wasted an enormous amount of time and effort in trying to achieve a quixotic "settlement" between Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, AQ and its affiliates are running wild in Africa - and have been for years. The problem is that the Obama administration refuses to treat terrorism as a radical Muslim problem, and instead, sees terrorism as a poverty/social welfare problem. Build schools, give out food, dig water wells, and terrorism will go away.
We all know that's not going to happen. Where we're doing it right is in Yemen where our special operators are working closely with the military to attack and degrade AQ in its hiding places in the south.
But our efforts in Pakistan are faltering due to political problems with the Pakistan government, and Afghanistan is being treated as a lost cause. Rogers advice is spot on, but don't expect the administration to approach the terrorism question any differently in the future.