Republicans in Congress are urging U.S. military action in Iraq to stop a Sunni insurgent group that has taken over territory including Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich), chairman of the House intelligence committee, said the U.S. should go forward with airstrikes and rally the Arab League to use special forces to “disrupt” the advance of ISIL or ISIS, as the insurgent group is called.
“It’s too late to have long political reconciliation meetings,” Rogers said on Fox News Sunday. “You have an al-Qaeda army on the move.”
President Obama has said he wants Iraqi President Maliki to reach a political solution before the U.S. considers airstrikes in support of the Iraqi army, which the U.S. spent billions training during its eight years in the country. Obama has ruled out using U.S. ground troops in Iraq.
In calling for airstrikes, Rogers and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., argue that the insurgents’ success will create a safe haven for planning terrorist activity against the U.S. “The next 9/11 is coming from here,” Graham said on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Rogers offered no time frame for military intervention. “This is not going to go away, but neither is al-Qaeda,” he said. “I don’t think you can put a timeline on it. It depends on how effective we are and how effective we can make our Arab League partners.”
Graham said the U.S. should engage in talks with Iran, to warn that nation not to use the sectarian conflict to increase its involvement in Iraq. “To ignore Iran and not tell them ‘don’t take advantage of this situation’ would be a mistake,” he said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Graham said the U.S. needs to engage with Iran to negotiate a settlement in Iraq, whether we like it or not.
“Why did we deal with Stalin? Because he was not as bad as Hitler,” he said. “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall. We need to coordinate with the Iranians.”.. see more