Rogers: ‘Never say never’ for combat troops in Iraq
August 17th, 2014
02:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Rogers: ‘Never say never’ for combat troops in Iraq

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Mike Rogers told CNN Sunday he’ll “never say never” to the possibility of U.S. combat troops returning to the ground in Iraq to fight Islamic extremists.

The question has come up in recent weeks as the Obama administration has watched the Iraqi leadership stumble in a bitter war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, cautioned that he doesn’t think sending in combat troops is necessarily beneficial at this point. But he also said President Obama is giving away too much strategically by placing such strict limits on the U.S. military role up front.

“I don't think anyone believes that that's the right solution for this particular problem. But we need to send the message that we are willing to stand up against growing terrorist organizations,” said Rogers, who represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. “This is a growing, dangerous problem and we've got to have a coordinated response in order to deal with it.”

Iraq is facing an onslaught from ISIS jihadists and is battling to wrest control of the strategically-located Mosul Dam from the militants, who recently took it over. As the largest dam in Iraq, it provides water and energy to much of the country. U.S. officials are concerned that if the terrorist group blows up the dam or opens the flood gates, it could endanger nearly 1.5 million lives and send floodwaters all the way to Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy is located.

The United States staged airstrikes over the weekend as part of a joint operation with Iraqi and Kurdish forces to take back the dam from ISIS control.

When Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq earlier this month, he said they would be limited to safeguarding U.S. interests and personnel and to help alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis. Even before the broadening of the U.S. airstrikes to protect infrastructure like the Mosul Dam, critics voiced concern about "mission creep" and have called for the President to seek congressional approval for further airstrikes.

Rogers disagrees. "I don't think he needs to come back (to Congress) for an affirmative vote," he said, adding that although Obama has the legal right to authorize attacks under the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), he should continue to work with Congress.

"This president does not play well with others when it comes to this policy," Rogers said. "He should constantly be working with members of Congress who have lots of interests, lots of time, lots of experience with these issues. Then I think he wouldn't get into this problem of members being irate that he doesn't come to them for a vote."

Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • Mike Rogers • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. drake mallard

    To the politicians aka chicken hawks War is good for business invest own your self and your children!

    Rich old men will always send poor young men to fight their wars while protecting their sons

    August 17, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. rick

    Why? If the president waited for congress to actualy do anything. They would be attacking Huston TEXAS by time they ever agreed to talk about it!!

    August 17, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Smitty

    Didn't obumbles end the war ??? Arent all terrorist on the run??? Could it be Obumbles lied (again)???

    August 17, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Pk dustere#e

    The gop wants another vietnam no more us deaths what do they care if we lose 4 000 more men

    August 17, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Pk dustere#e

    Gop are war mongers

    August 17, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Name

    New rule. If you vote for boots in the ground you must have obe if your children or relatives kids go and fight on the front line. Watch how quick the vote changes

    August 17, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Smitty – We are out of the wars that destabilized the Middle East. This may come as a shock to you but, bin Laden and most of Al Qaida is dead. It appears that your news station has been lying to you. By the way, Bush lied us into unnecessary wars, gave us a Great Recession and record job loss.

    August 17, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Chris..E.Al

    You dems or ? do not have the ability to even know what it takes to survive the day much less how one should survive the future ? War is hell yes i agree but you dont try to whistle at wildcat or by wispering here kitty kitty and petting it behind the ears those animals need their wish granted .

    August 17, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. g

    when ever republican congress reps or senators visit the middle east a new terrorist group pops up,war is profit and they don,t care who or how many die ,it won,t be any of them or theres

    August 17, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Just get rid of this War junk. Put this idiot in Iraq or Iran come back. Simple solution.

    August 17, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid the repub/tea bag majority.

    And Rep. Rogers and all his relatives eligible for military service will enlist and offer to be part of the initial ground force ...


    August 17, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. rs

    Didn't obumbles end the war ??? Arent all terrorist on the run??? Could it be Obumbles lied (again)???
    No, Bumbledorr. The war ended when Iraq wouldn't grant our soldiers immunity from their laws, and they asked us to leave.

    August 17, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. rs

    If we sever go back to Iraq, it has to be as part of a wide, multi-national consortium, paid for by the oil-nations

    August 17, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Chris..E.Al

    We must keep the wildcats (((terrorist))) in a cage the will devour all the land and all within . Dont you get mr. lover lover ?

    August 17, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Chipster

    @Chris..E.Al: what on earth are you talking about? Wildcats and kitties? Have you lost your mind? The U.S. has not been attacked. Our security is not threatened. Yes, we certainly have some responsibility when it comes to Iraq because we are the nation that took out a powerful, ruthless and SECULAR leader who would not tolerate these religious fanatics! But that doesn't mean we need to invade Iraq again. If the new leaders can handle this better than Maliki (it's hard to imagine they could do worse), then let's give them an opportunity to take care of their own country. We've already sent humanitarian aid, bombed the aggressors, and airlifted thousands of Iraqis to safety. At some point, Iraq has to handle its own defense. What we must do is prevent religious fanatics (foreign and domestic) from doing harm in our country.

    August 17, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Former republican, now an independent

    It's really easy for these representatives in the house to sit back and criticize the president for purely political reasons when they have nothing invested and nothing to lose. These opportunists would do anything to gain a little "political traction", including risking your child's life. You won't see any of them with boots on the ground, putting their life on the line for the Iraqis.

    August 17, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Tampa Tim

    When does Rogers start his career on Fox?

    August 17, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Name

    Ahh there is never enough war where the repubs are concerned, war is money to them
    i hate to see when america makes the mistake and put one of these war so their rich friends could make money repubsb. wars cost alot of money, and the middle class and poor always seems to get left out of the pot, look back at the bush 2 wars, all we got was an economic depression.

    August 17, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Name

    I say drop a nuke and it will be over

    August 17, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Bigwilliestyles

    War: Old men wasting young men's lives for gain. Always was, always will be.

    August 17, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Lizzie

    TampaTim, didn't know Pres.Bush was that smart, you been telling us for years how dumb is was and is.

    August 17, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. Andre

    Anyone remember Jimmy Carter saying "No military rescue in Iran"? A commander in chief ruling out their options at the beginning of a situation is stupid. It has nothing to do with republican / democrat or bush / Obama. To limit your own actions without any concessions from your opponent, is the sign of a lousy negotiator.

    August 17, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. linda

    Only send people who want to fight...send Ferguson Residents!

    August 17, 2014 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Smitty

    No one wants a war, it would be nice if the BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR quit lying, @ Oh Timmie once again you didn't do your home work, please tell me the two wars were out of??? Obumbles is bombing and sending troops (advisors) back in. nice try blaming bush, but this is all Obumbles now, I know it stinks but he choked.

    August 17, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Donna

    Obama claims his foreign policy is "don't do anything stupid". But for over a year, after after repeated requests from the Iraqi government for help, he sat around and watched ISIS grow and grow and grow and advance into Iraq, from Syria, and take Iraqi city after city.

    Given everybody, including Obama, knew ISIS was even worse than AQ, and their numerous atrocities were well documented, why does Obama sit on his rear and go golfing for a year when he also claims they will attack and kill terrorists wherever they are? Well, they were easy targets, in convoys, a massive army of terrorists! And Obama did NOTHING but sit and watch them get stronger and stronger. Tens of thousands died in that time, while Obama did nothing.

    I contend Obama is once again lying to us and the world. His foreign policy isn't "don't do anything stupid", it is simply "don't do anything period". Obama has only acted when he was cornered and forced to, and even then, most of his words were about what he would NOT be doing. Obama's incompetence in conducting foreign policy and letting threats like ISIS to grow is there for all to see, including our enemies. And according to Hillary Clinton, ISIS exists BECAUSE OF Obama's inaction (again) in Syria. The record is clear and inarguable.

    August 17, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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