Rogers: Obama playing politics with Afghanistan?
June 26th, 2011
10:38 AM ET
3 years ago

Rogers: Obama playing politics with Afghanistan?

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, questioned the timing of President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan Sunday, suggesting it is politically motivated.

The Michigan Republican said Obama’s plan to remove 33,000 “surge” troops by September 2012 is “concerning.”

“The timeline is just too darn close,” Rogers said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I am a former FBI guy and coincidences are one thing. But the fact that it lines up to have those troops out before the first debate of 2012 is concerning to me mainly because conditions on the ground have not changed.”

In an address Wednesday night, Obama called for an initial withdrawal of 10,000 troops by the end of the year and another 23,000 by next summer, leaving almost 70,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He said the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq would allow more resources to tackle domestic problems.

Rogers, who supported the initial surge in 2009, said the announcement, which comes in the middle of the first fighting season, has “done more harm to our ability to leave Afghanistan a place that can defend itself” and puts a greater burden on those troops remaining.

“This should be conditions based, not politically based here at home,” Rogers said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A former FBI guy and not to mentioned a Republican, nice try Rogers but your only reason for disagreeing with the President is because you are a Republican.

    June 26, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    56% of Americans favor for withdrawing

    Republicans always say Obama and democrats never listen to public when they listen to public republicans say they are playing politics

    June 26, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Anthony

    OK, then when is a better time to withdraw the troops? We just got bin Laden, who was the reason we went into Afghanistan in the first place, so when is a better time to withdraw the troops?

    June 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The Michigan Republican said Obama’s plan to remove 33,000 “surge” troops by September 2012 is “concerning.”
    --------------
    Uh, oh. There they go again with the fear mongering. "Concerning" Where is the concern surrounding keeping a promise made to the American people? The only concern a Republican would have is that the President is keeping promises. In other words, Rep. Rogers spoke truthfully, albeit grossly misleadingly.

    See how the spin works? They will make a genuinely truthful statement in entirely the wrong context, where it is untruthful.

    June 26, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. mary

    WTF is he talking about? The president said in 09 when he sent the new troops in he would start bringing them home in July 2011 I think Mr Rogers is the one playing politics.

    June 26, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. denice

    You "Buffoon". You and Gop have alot of room to "Talk" Gop, the very party that got us into this "Mess". Gop is toast in 2012!!! Use your head, "Middlecalss" Vote "NO" on your "Destruction" Unreal?????

    June 26, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Martha in CF

    So, Mr. Rogers, because of the election in 2012, you are inciting POLITICS as Obama's reasoning for getting out of Afganistan? How about the senseless killing of our troups, civilians? How about the money that this has cost every American?
    You want to blame it on POLITICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A typical Redumblican statement...........,.

    June 26, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. annie s

    Get over it Rogers. If anything, the President should bring even more of them home.

    June 26, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. lgny

    Curious how they say they want leaders who represent the people, then when someone adjusts plans to meet public sentiment it's branded as

    a. Flip flopping
    b. has no values
    c. is a poll watcher
    d. is politically motivated.

    This is what politics is all about. Finding ways to balance public sentiment with national needs.

    June 26, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. TOMNDALLAS

    It doesn't matter what Pres Obama does! He is always criticized by the Republicans. It part of their propaganda to divide the American People even more. I am done listening to all of them! I don't see anyone in any party that I would trust a dollar to! I am not sure where we are headed as a country but it sure doesn't look good! People fighting over trivial things. The conservatives are trying to make everyone live according to their rules! It doesn't work that way if we are going to remain a United States. I am not sure what the Democrats are doing but as long as they aren't taking away any freedoms, they aren't the worse of the bunch

    June 26, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Sebastian Kent

    In President Obama, I see an honorable man who stated 3 years ago, before he was Commander-in-Chief, that he would bring the Aghanistan war to a close and bring American troops home.

    So if that now aligns with what 75% of Americans NOW WANT, it`s not political opportunism, it`s prescient leadership and he deserves any benefits that come from talking a stand before the rest of the crowd.

    June 26, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. DENNA

    Actually, I believe Obama is keeping to the schedule he set BEFORE he was elected. He has pretty much kept his election promises. Ironically, the things he promised and was elected on are now the things the Rethugs hold against him.

    June 26, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. James B

    Can we say pot calling the kettle black...Mr. Rogers is concerned that keeping a promise the president made in 2009 is politically motivated. I also wonder if nearly every Republican action in the house isn't calculated for political benefit, such as Cantor walking out of the debt talks, debt ceiling posturing, Libya vote to censure president but not withdraw funding, lack of progress on jobs front and a openly hostile discourse that is bordering on disrespect for the presidency of the United States (and indeed to most citizens of this country). Can we all say hypocritcal.

    June 26, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    “This should be conditions based, not politically based here at home,” Rogers said.
    ---------------
    We went in to punish the Taliban for providing safe harbor for Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban government has been gone for years, Bin Laden is gone, and Al-Qaeda has been marginalized within the borders. The current government shows signs of corruption that are only getting worse and no sign that it wants to release its' grip on power: I cite the recent re-election of Karzai. Conditions on the ground say that our original objectives were met due in large part to the surge that began in 2009, which was promised to last for 18 months. We will still have double the troups in the country as when Obama took office. It is time to keep the promise made to the American people before you start complaining about a broken promise.

    June 26, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. kyle

    Did this guy say playing politics,? after over ten years it's time to move on, too costly.

    June 26, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. midleclssfan

    What better way to cut spending than by reducing our role in Afghanistan? The Republican Party is more about opposing anything the President does rather than whats best for the good of this country. They have no Shame. How anyone can vote for these folks is a mistery to me. Have we not learned anything form eight years of George Bush, cutting taxes for the rich and lie after lie after lie. What happened to the JOBS they promised?

    June 26, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. EddyL

    Politically planned? So was Bush's invasion of Iraq. What's your point?

    June 26, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |