Month: February 2015

Rogers in NY Times: Foreign Policy Ascends as Issue for Republican Presidential Contenders

February 24, 2015

Mike Rogers, the former Michigan representative and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is not considering a presidential bid, but he is trying to influence the 2016 race by creating an organization called Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security, which he said would support candidates “who understand the importance of American engagement.” His group is scheduled to host its first forum in Iowa in May and is also considering holding a large candidates’ forum in the fall.

NEW YORK TIMES: Foreign Policy Ascends as Issue for Republican Presidential Contenders


WASHINGTON — Gruesome killings by the Islamic State, terrorist attacks in Europe and tensions with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia are reshaping the early Republican presidential race, creating anxiety among party voters and sending potential candidates scrambling to outmuscle one another on foreign policy.

Doubts that crept into the minds of conservatives about engagement abroad after George W. Bush’s presidency and the protracted war in Iraq are dissipating, and they are increasingly pressing for more action against the Islamic State.

Nearly three-quarters of Republicans now favor sending ground troops into combat against the Islamic State, according to a CBS News poll last week. And in Iowa and South Carolina, two early-voting states, Republicans said military action against the group was, alongside economic matters, the most important issue in the 2016 election, according to an NBC survey released last week.

A measles vaccination in Miami. Parents and prospective Republican candidates have been drawn into debates over the vaccine.

“There’s a lot of fear out there,” said Katon Dawson, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, noting that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, had become a regular topic of discussion at his regular breakfast spot in Columbia, the Lizard’s Thicket. “The waitresses and managers and everybody there has a notion about ISIL. People understand who this group is now.”

The emphasis on foreign policy is also a tacit acknowledgment by Republicans that, with the economy improving, they need another issue to distinguish themselves from Democrats. And it offers them a way to link former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to President Obama on an issue where the president’s approval ratings are weakening.

More immediately, the hawkishness now defining the early campaign could imperil the presidential hopes of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the libertarian-leaning Republican who embraces a more restrained approach to American engagement with the world.

“The guy who’s now got the biggest challenge because of this is Rand Paul,” said Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker. “The Rand Paul worldview, which I suspect will change, is just incompatible with reality.”

Though Mr. Paul will not formally announce his campaign until April, prominent Republican officials and groups are already organizing to undercut his approach. One of the party’s biggest donors, the Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, has told associates he is open to underwriting an effort to stopping Mr. Paul, should he gain traction in the primary.

At least two Republicans, John R. Bolton, the former United Nations ambassador, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are considering their own White House bids largely to draw attention to the need for a more muscular foreign policy.

One international affairs expert who has advised Mr. Paul and hails from a similar, more restrained school of foreign policy said the revival of terrorism as an issue would force the senator to more thoroughly explain his views.

“He’s got, to some extent, to be an educator in this process,” said the expert, Richard R. Burt, a former ambassador and State Department official under President Reagan. “He needs to talk through with primary voters the kinds of questions that need to be asked before we commit U.S. forces abroad: How we can’t just have a visceral reaction. How does this impact American interests and security?”

But Mr. Paul’s detractors are not going to make that easy.

“I think most of the Republican candidates or prospective candidates are headed in the right direction; there’s one who’s headed in the wrong direction,” said Mr. Bolton, suggesting most Republicans would be “horrified” by Mr. Paul’s views on international affairs.

Mr. Bolton has formed three separate political groups to promote pro-interventionist Republican candidates. His newest effort, called the Foundation for American Security and Freedom, will be a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt group, meaning that it can accept donations from contributors who wish to remain anonymous.

Mr. Graham has formed a similar group, Security Through Strength, and has begun traveling to early-nominating states to discuss what he calls “the threat of radical Islam” as he ponders a presidential run.

Mike Rogers, the former Michigan representative and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is not considering a presidential bid, but he is trying to influence the 2016 race by creating an organization called Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security, which he said would support candidates “who understand the importance of American engagement.” His group is scheduled to host its first forum in Iowa in May and is also considering holding a large candidates’ forum in the fall.

Read the full story HERE.

ICYMI – Mike Rogers on State of the Union

February 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – In case you missed it, Mike Rogers, former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared on State of the Union this week with Jim Acosta, CNN Senior White House Correspondent. Rogers discussed the President’s AUMF proposal and what Congress should do to strengthen it and ensure it will be successful in the fight against ISIS.

Click on the links below to view the entire interview.

Mike Rogers on the President’s AUMF: “This is a monumental failure of leadership. If he had approached Congress before and met with Members of both parties, he could have had a product he asked for that would have passed in a week. I was calling for an AUMF back in August and September because if you are going to ask these men and woman to serve in a tough neighborhood you have to give them all the full faith and confidence.”

Mike Rogers on the Denmark Shooting: “Unfortunately, with what you see with ISIS they are looking for aspirational encouragement everywhere, Denmark, United States, Australia, Canada and you are seeing people take action. The one place they believe they can get credibility is any blasphemous talk of the Prophet Mohammed is currency for them in order to encourage these folks who are on the edge of radicalization to bring them over.”

Washington Times – Libya Does Not Have to be Afghanistan

February 13, 2015

By Mike Rogers

Libya may no longer be front-page news, but it should be. Late last month, rebels seized the Benghazi branch of the Central Bank of Libya. Gunmen kidnapped the internationally recognized deputy foreign minister right before U.N. talks between the factions were to begin. Troops loyal to the recognized prime minister also had a gun battle with an al-Qa’ida affiliate. Libya is rapidly becoming the next breeding ground for terrorist organizations.

Remember pre-9/11 Afghanistan? Libya is on the verge of becoming North Africa’s own Afghanistan in which terrorist groups can plot, except now they can have easy access to Europe, just like in Syria. This instability is already spilling over locally – Egypt is launching attacks into Libya to prevent the chaos from crossing over into its territory.

The revolution in Libya, beginning in February of 2011, gave hope to the world that a country once ruled by a pariah regime could turn a new leaf and re-enter the community of nations. While no one expected the process to be smooth, the U.S. and our allies bear much of the blame for the current state of affairs.

After helping revolutionaries overthrow Qaddafi, the West failed to follow through with any plan for stabilization. With no existing civil society, coherent opposition, or leaders in waiting, Libya plunged into sectarian conflict. Instability worsened further with Egypt and the UAE backing secularists in the East, and Sudan, Turkey, and Qatar supporting the Islamists. As if this wasn’t complicated enough, al-Qa’ida and separatists are also in the mix.

It did not need to turn out this way. The United States and Europe (France in particular, which took an early leading role) should have brought the factions to the table to reach some power sharing agreement and put their collective weight behind a new government. It is not as though the West doesn’t have tools – financially, it could have leveraged threats of frozen oil and overseas assets; politically, the importance of diplomatic and international recognition is often overlooked; and finally, the introduction of a stabilization force would have signaled the West’s commitment and it’s resolve.

Instead, the West withdrew and paid less and less attention. The response of the U.S. since the terrible attack on our consulate in Benghazi only made this situation worse – the closure of our Embassy and our remaining consulates has left us blind. Without a strong American presence in country and no real partner domestically, we have little influence or ability to bring all of the murderers to justice.

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Baltimore Sun: The country is vulnerable without CISPA

February 10, 2015

By: Tom Wither

The uninterrupted operation of our nation’s infrastructure is vital to our physical and economic security and our lives. It monitors generators producing power; controls valves that allow gas or oil to flow from well to refinery to pump; manages air, rail, and road traffic; and enables banks to process credit card transactions and business activities nationally and internationally.

In 2011, Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and then chair of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, put forward a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act (CISPA). It was meant to allow for information sharing between the private sector and U.S. government as a means to ward off cyber attacks that could cripple the country’s infrastructure. But civil liberties groups and others roundly criticized the bill for its lack of provisions to protect privacy. The 2011 bill was amended, and in spite of passing the House in 2012 and 2013, it never passed the Senate; both bills died after referral to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, last month reintroduced the 2013 version of bill, saying “we must stop dealing with cyber attacks after the fact.” He pointed to North Korea’s recent attack on Sony Pictures, which “cost the company millions of dollars.” Still, Internet privacy advocates and other critics are again viewing the bill as unfettered license for the government to collect private information at will.

They are wrong.

This bill, and the two versions passed by the House before it, do not authorize broad and unnecessary data collection, and the professionals in the intelligence community have no interest in such power.

The current CISPA bill requires the government to “reasonably limit the receipt, retention, use, and disclosure of cyber threat information associated with specific persons that is not necessary to protect systems or networks from cyber threats or mitigate cyber threats in a timely manner.” It also allows for monitoring by Congress, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and others, as well as specific language prohibiting intelligence agencies from using CISPA to expand surveillance of U.S. persons beyond existing law.

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Newsmax: Ex-Rep. Mike Rogers: ISIS Ransom Demands Just ‘Propaganda’

February 9, 2015

In the wake of reports from the Islamic State (ISIS) that American hostage Kayla Mueller was killed in an airstrike from Jordan, the mother of James Foley says the United States isn’t doing enough to free the group’s hostages.

Foley, who was held with Mueller, was beheaded by ISIS last year.

Former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Diane Foley is understandable distraught, but that the United States took “a pretty significant risk in sending a pretty daring rescue mission.”
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That mission relied on outdated intelligence, and the hostages were no longer at the location when U.S. special forces showed up.

“But the fact they would risk these soldiers and special forces community’s personnel’s lives in rescue attempts shows there were good faith efforts,” Rogers said.

“Remember, in the Foley case, the amount of money was like $132 million, if my memory serves me correctly. That is not a realistic number for negotiation,” Rogers said. “They never really intended to turn Foley over. They were using all of this for propaganda.”

Diane Foley and other family members of American hostages have charged that the government has threatened them with breaking the law if they attempt to pay terrorist groups to free their loved ones.

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The Des Moines Register: GOP focus on terrorism

February 9, 2015

By: Kathie Obradovich

The rise of terrorism as a priority issue for likely 2016 Republican caucusgoers in Iowa — and a new group aimed at promoting a foreign-policy agenda during the presidential campaign — raises some political challenges for Democrats.

One in four likely Republican caucusgoers see terrorism as the most important issue for the next president to address, according to The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll published last week. The federal deficit was in second place at 21 percent. The economy and jobs, in third place, was way down at 12 percent.

There’s certainly plenty of cause for concern. The Islamic extremist group called Islamic State or ISIS continues to rain down death and destruction in the Middle East. Leaders in Washington are mulling whether to arm Ukraine against Russia. Negotiations aimed at preventing a nuclear Iran seem to be at a tipping point.

Republicans are more unified on the question of action against terrorists than Democrats. More than 90 percent of likely GOP caucusgoers favor more aggressively pursuing terrorists in this country and abroad. Among likely Democratic caucusgoers, 70 percent favor more aggressive action while 25 percent are opposed.

Former Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan, who chaired the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was in Iowa last week to pump up the volume on Republicans’ national security concerns.

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ABC News: Ex-Lawmaker Seeks to Make Foreign Policy a GOP 2016 Priority

February 6, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa — A former Michigan congressman appeared in Iowa Thursday to unveil an effort to promote more foreign policy discussion among Republican presidential hopefuls.

Mike Rogers, who hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, announced he is leading a group called Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security, which held a kickoff event at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. The organization, which has backing from a number of Iowa political operatives and activists, aims to build support among voters and hold candidate events, including a forum in the fall.

“(National security) will be a factor in the election of 2016,” Rogers said during a Wednesday interview. He said the group will also be organizing in New Hampshire and South Carolina. “We want everybody to be the smartest person at the water cooler on national security issues.”

Rogers served in the U.S. House for 14 years before retiring at the end of last year. He was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Iowa Advisory Board for the group includes former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn, former Senate candidate Sam Clovis and Lt. Gen. Ron Dardis, the retired former commander of the Iowa National Guard. Rogers said the goal was to foster grassroots support for the effort.

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WHO TV Iowa: ISIS and Others Deserve ‘More Than Talking Points’ New Group Says

February 6, 2015

By Dave Price

DES MOINES, Iowa–A new group challenged Iowans to ask tough questions of 2016 presidential candidates when it comes to foreign policy. But its leader denied this is just a plan to get Republicans ready to take on Hillary Clinton.

Former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers held a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Iowa Statehouse to talk about the efforts of his group, APPS, Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security. The group wants Iowans to push candidates beyond just “talking points.” Rogers said, “It can’t just be, ‘I’m for Israel. I don’t like ISIS. ISIS is bad or arm the Ukranian rebels.’ If that’s the best you can talk about this issue, I think we’re in trouble. You have to understand the basics of why all of those positions are important.”

Rogers said the efforts are focused on Republican presidential candidates. He, by the way, is not planning on running for president and added that his group won’t endorse a Republican candidate.

“Absolutely not,” Rogers said when asked whether the effort would help Republicans against Clinton, the expected Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State, “It’s because America faces the worst threats I’ve ever seen.”

Click here for more of the story.

Mike Rogers Launches APPS and Announces Iowa Leadership

February 5, 2015

Des Moines, IA  – On the heels of a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll showing terrorism as the top issue of concern for Iowa Republicans, today, Mike Rogers, former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced the launch, and Iowa leadership of, Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security (APPS). APPS is a national initiative to focus attention on issues related to national security and strong American foreign policy by educating, identifying and mobilizing pro-national security citizens during the 2016 presidential caucuses and primaries.

“The need for strong American leadership at home and abroad has never been greater,” Rogers said. “The road to the White House starts in Iowa and that road must end with a President who embraces American exceptionalism and understands stability abroad brings prosperity at home. We can’t afford to get this wrong.”

“After ten years of service on the House Intelligence Committee, I have never seen the world more desperate for a Churchill, “victory at all costs” moment or a Roosevelt, “fear itself” moment or a Reagan, “tear down this wall” moment,” Rogers continued. “The world cannot endure another eight years of weak American leadership, which is why this issue must be a priority not only for our next President, but also the citizens in the early states who have a vital role in determining who will be our next Commander-in-Chief.”

Rogers said the organization plans to play a significant role in shaping the 2016 debate. An important component will be the creation of volunteer leadership teams in the early presidential caucus and primary states to host local and regional forums focused on national security and global engagement.
In announcing the first of these early state leadership teams, Rogers also said the organization is working with leading Iowa elected officials to hold a presidential candidate summit on national security in Iowa during the Fall of 2015.  The summit will be consistent with all Republican National Committee rules.

“Ensuring America remains a peaceful, prosperous and secure nation begins by choosing presidential nominees who share our philosophy that embraces the Reagan Doctrine of peace through strength,” said prominent Iowa conservative and Air Force veteran Dr. Sam Clovis, a co-chairman of APPS’s Iowa Advisory Board.

Joining Clovis on the Iowa Advisory Board is a broad-based group of leading Hawkeye state political, business, grassroots and former military leaders.

APPS Leadership: 

  • Honorary Chairman Mike Rogers
  • Andy Keiser, President
  • Kevin Madden, National Advisor
  • Matt Strawn, National Advisor
  • Pat McGlone, Vice President
  • Michelle Thomas, Board of Directors
  • Bob Honold, Strategist

Iowa Advisory Board:

  • The Honorable Mike Rogers, Chairman, Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security and former Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee
  • Lt. General. Ron Dardis, former Adjutant General, Iowa National Guard (1999-2009) (Johnston)
  • Dr. Sam Clovis, retired Colonel, U.S. Air Force; 2014 Republican nominee for Iowa State Treasurer (Hinton)
  • Matt Strawn, former Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa (2009-2012) (Ankeny)
  • Adrienne Baughman, Forbs Export Services (Des Moines)
  • Judy Bissinger (Waukee)
  • Keith Caviness, Former Ottumwa City Councilman (Ottumwa)
  • Jeremy Davis, Former Ames City Councilman (Ames)
  • Andrew Dorr, Republican Leader (Urbandale)
  • Dr. Tom Gleason, M.D., USMC (ret.), (Boone)
  • Cathy Grawe (Iowa City)
  • Harlan “Bud” Hockenberg, World War II Veteran; Chairman, Grassley Committee, Inc.; Past President, Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines (West Des Moines)
  • Barb Hovland, Chairwoman, Cerro Gordo County GOP (Mason City)
  • Jon King, Conservative Leader (Guthrie Center)
  • Tracee Knapp, Chairwoman, Ringgold County GOP (Redding)
  • Jack Maples, Former Chairman, Jasper County GOP (Newton)
  • David Oman, Former Co-Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa; Finance Chairman, Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate (Des Moines)
  • Adam Otto, Jasper County GOP (Newton)
  • Kari Putney (Elgin)
  • Col. Al Ringgenberg (ret.),Council Bluffs City Councilman, (Council Bluffs)
  • Kayne Robinson, Former Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa (Marengo)
  • Nick Van Patten, Former Finance Chairman, Polk County GOP (Des Moines)
  • Laurence “Larry” and Irene Scherrman (Farley)
  • Rick Young, Jewell City Councilman (Jewell)

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