Washington Times on December 12, 2014, reported that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, said that the U.S. under President Obama is not doing enough to combat terrorism around the world and that the threat posed by extremist Islamic militants today is as great as it has been at any time since before 9/11. Excerpts below:
“The threat matrix, I have never seen as bad as it is today,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican, who is preparing to leave Congress and the post he’s held since 2010.
At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, Mr. Rogers said that the rise of the Islamic State can in large part be blamed on an isolationist approach pushed by the Obama administration, as well as by a small wing of the Republican party, over the past several years.
“I’ve been on this committee for a decade,” he said. “I’ve never seen it quite so bad because you have more streams of individuals who are associated with radical Islam, who are saying that they have either an aspiration or a capability to do attacks in the West, meaning in Europe, in the United States.”
He said that the Obama administration has “made conscious decisions to disengage,” and that the situation unfolding in the Middle East today is hauntingly comparable to the years prior to 9/11.
“We are in the process of letting it fester and the longer it goes, the more likely it is they’ll have a successful attack in the United States or Europe,”Mr. Rogers said.
Asked whether the U.S. is winning the global war on terrorism, the congressman responded: “We’re not configured today to win this fight.”
Much of the world now perceives the Islamic State and other extremist groups to be “winning” and taking advantage of American disengagement, he added.
He pointed particularly to the future threat posed by thousands of foreign fighters holding either U.S. or Western European passports, who have flocked to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State.