House Intel chief: Obama foreiegn policy in 'freefall'

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers sharply criticized the president's foreign policy choices on Fox News Sunday, saying it was in "freefall" and that any action he takes regarding Islamic State is "too little, too late."

The Hill:

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said statements from the White House last week that it does not yet have a firm strategy on ISIS are indicative of the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures.

“We find it consistent with his past policy and actions on foreign policy,” Rogers told host Chris Wallace. “It shows and I think exemplifies that his foreign policy is in freefall.”

As further examples, Rogers brought up problems with Russia, Iran and North Korea, all of which, he said, show major foreign policy failures.

“Our traditional allies are now standing up saying ‘well, maybe America is not the best force to lead us through these troubles,’ ” Rogers said.

Rogers, who is not running for reelection, said Obama decided against helping Arab League countries fight ISIS years ago, when they asked for intelligence and coordination support.

“There had been plans on the table, just president just did not want to get engaged in any way,” he said. “That is a decision, that is a policy, that is a strategy. And it’s not working.”

Obama plans to speak with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders this week in Wales about how to fight ISIS, and top Cabinet officials are traveling to the Middle East to meet with allies there.

But Rogers said those actions are too little, too late.

“Three years ago, we had really good options in Syria and how to stop their pooling in the east and going into Iraq,” he said. “Two years ago, we had better options, not great options. Today, our options are far more limited, far more dangerous, and will call for far more engagement.”

The Atlantic's Peter Beinart refers to the president's policy as "fiercely minimalist." That's a more polite way of saying that President Obama won't act unless it becomes absolutely necessary to his political standing. This is why problems fester and blow up eventually. His mantra of "Don't do stupid stuff" has morphed into the Obama Doctrine: "Don't do any stuff at all if you can help it."

Could we really have stopped ISIS 3 years ago? No one knows, of course, because we never tried. It's good to have a president who doesn't take stupid risks. But it's bad to have a president who takes no risks at all.



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