Time for Obama to act on Afghanistan – Cheney
Former Vice President Dick Cheney tonight joins a chorus of critics who say President Barack Obama is taking way too long to decide whether to send another 40,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
Cheney, no fan of any of the current administration’s foreign policy initiatives, prodded the White House to fulfill the president’s promise to give the U.S. armed forces a clear mission in Afghanistan and to do it now.
“It’s time for President Obama to make good on his promise. The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger, ” Cheney said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Center for Security Policy, a Washington think-tank.
“Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission,” Cheney said.
Cheney also refuted what he said was a complaint by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that “the Obama administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.”
“The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them,” Cheney said.
“Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Obama said he could reach a decision on a new strategy before the outcome of Afghanistan’s presidential run-off on Nov. 7 And he pushed back against critics who accuse him of vacillating.
“We are going to take the time to get this right,” Obama told MSNBC.
“We’re not going to drag it out because there is a sense that the sooner we get a sound approach in place and personnel in place, the better off we’re going to be. But we also want to make sure that we don’t put resources ahead of strategy.”
Photo credit:Reuters/Joshua Roberts (Cheney speaking on national security in May)