House Intel Chair: ‘Putin Is Playing Chess, and I Think We’re Playing Marbles’

March 3, 2014 - 7:07 AM

Rep. Mike Rogers

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.(AP File Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(CNSNews.com) – What’s happening in Ukraine “is not an isolated incident,” and there are “not a lot of options on the table” for the United States, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

“Well, I think Putin is playing chess, and I think we're playing marbles,” Rogers told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “And I don't think it's even close.”

Rogers noted that Russia has shifted its border 11 kilometers in Georgia, and “nobody said a word.”

In the negotiations over Syria, the Russians believe they prevailed. In the nuclear negotiations with Iran, “We got our fannies handed to us,” Rogers said, because tactical nuclear weapons were taken out of the equation.

“And by the way, the big one that started this was the absolute retreat on our missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia -- caused huge problems for our allies and emboldened the Russians. And it really has been a downhill slide…”

Rogers said the Russians have been “running circles around us” on many fronts, and he called the Obama administration “naïve” for thinking “that if we just keep giving things to Russia, they'll finally wake up and say, boy, the United States isn't all that bad. That is completely missing the motivations of why Russia does what Russia does.”

Rogers said Putin believes that no one will stop Russia, and that’s why he’s been so aggressive in the Crimea. Moldova’s probably next, he added.

Like a number of other senators, Rogers advocates starting the process of removing Russia from the G-8. “And I would do it in a very public way, with milestones that they could either meet or lose their opportunity to continue to serve in the G-8.”

He said the U.S. must be “aggressive now,” and if President Obama isn’t willing to get tough, Congress must step in, just as it did with Iran.

“If you recall, all of the sanctions that happened on Iran were -- happened in Congress, the president acquiesced -- didn't support them, but acquiesced at the end. I think that Congress is going to have to play a very important role in this if we believe it's important to tone down the military options of civil war in the Ukraine.”