Time for Obama to act on Afghanistan – Cheney

October 22, 2009

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.

cheneyCheney, 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.”

For more Reuters political coverage click here.

Photo credit:Reuters/Joshua Roberts (Cheney speaking on national security in May)


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There goes Cheney, what did he ever do but go along
with Bush and lie about Iraq and the two of them
together never had any idea of how to get us out
of either war. That’s right Cheney, just keep our
soldiers there and leave them and never think about how
we get them out of there.
You and Bush have so messed up our country and the wars
and now you decide what President Obama is supposed
to be doing with our military when you and Bush never
ever cared about them. Go crawl back under your rock.
If you are so gung ho about your war well get dressed
and go over there and fight with our soldiers you
know it all nut case.

Posted by Suzi | Report as abusive

If 3000 Americans were killed under my watch, I’d watch my mouth, Cheney.

Posted by Bryan | Report as abusive

Cheney needs to just go back to bed and sleep it off.
Anything he has to say has no bearing on this administration.he no longer has any say about how things are run.
Barack Obama will do what he thinks is best for our country right now.He has qualified advisers and the best military advisers at all times and does not need
Cheney to be dropping any bombs on anyone right now.
I’m sure if Obama needed anyone elses advise he would not call on Cheney.
So Cheney needs to just go home to his wife and retire and go hunting and fishing and enjoy hisself.He still has a book to write so i think he has enough to keep his self busy.
Obama has everything under control.so he dont need Cheney standing over his back trying to push the red button….Go home to your wife Cheney,she needs you at home spending your twilight time with her..

Posted by janey | Report as abusive

Actually it was Bush going along with Cheney, and the time to have done it was 9/12/01, so what is he doing mouthing off now? Was he too busy plotting the invasion of Iraq even then?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Say “Goodnight” Dick.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

To the Bush/Cheney administration, I applaud you. I am proud of the strong, yet difficult stance you took after that morning of 9/11 and in your subsequent years in office.

I respectfully disagree with your American critics on various counts, but do so with neither emotional attack nor ill-will toward anyone who views the world different than I do. We’re American, and I express my differences civilly, in particular to those who serve our country.

I understand it is easy for many to question or to second guess your policies in hindsight, or without all the facts you knew from our top notch American intelligence sources.

Though I do not go along blindly with any cause or claim, as I am an independent and subscribe to my own mind the judgments and conclusions I draw from what I see and what I learn, I think you did one hell of a good job protecting the United States.

For your consistent and unwavering strength to secure our country, in spite of the criticism, and to remain steadfast in your commitment and resolve, thank you!

To Reuters, in my many years living in Europe, and now back in the U.S., your factual and unemotional reporting of world events stands out well above your peers. I came to trust you as a reliable source of current events while living in Europe, and continue to do so now. Thank you!

Posted by Copernicus Paul | Report as abusive

Well written, Suzi. Unfortunately, cheney nor his admin. was interested in the “getting out” part of war, only the guns-a-blazin’ going in. I sadly know firsthand what going to Iraq will to do a human being. Someone who left a well-rounded, completely dedicated and heroic soldier came back home a shell of who he was. And now he is in Afgahnistan as I write this. I strongly suggest this tired, angry, miserable blowhard put his money where his mouth is and get his fat, lazy arse on over there, if he feels so damn strongly about it. Let him see firsthand what he has helped do to our amazingly strong men and women abroad.

Posted by Suzanne | Report as abusive

The Chaney school of thoughts ended up in the mess in Iraq. If after 9/11 Bush and Chaney went all the way to wipe out Taliban, AlQueida and Bin Laden we would not have gone to Iraq and would not have stayed in Afghanistan.
Chaney has no right to tell about Soldiers life as the administration he was part of played irresponsibly causing so many lives
Let Obama take care He will do it right
Strategy to support a principle ( values) and resources to support a strategy. Not the other way around
Never too late to learn Mr. Vice president

Posted by Kuriakose Varkey | Report as abusive

I hope we don,t have history repeating it,s self ,a president asleep in the oval office,Clinton,and the following republican president having to deal with the consequences.If Obama,s appeasement has consequences i hope not, but it will be dealt with by the next republican president after 2012.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Thanks, VP Cheney for saying wbat millions of us believe

Posted by Donna Neukum | Report as abusive

Perhaps Cheney could enlighten us all on just how Obama should go about winning a war that his administration could not. Cheney don’t go away mad just go away…

Posted by Michael Copeland | Report as abusive

[…] to Bush’s At Bush Administration Reunion, Cheney Attacks Obama … Again Time for Obama to act on Afghanistan – Cheney Liz Cheney forms group to take on Obama’s foreign policy Cheney’s Daughter Launches […]

Posted by When Cheneys Attack « Eat It Or Wear It | Report as abusive

President Obama was elected because he claimed to have a comprehensive strategy to win the ‘languishing’ war in Afghanistan.

So, other than getting Karzai elected, and preserving the poppy fields from eradication, where is it?

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive

It is amazing that most of Cheney’s critics has not had any personal involvement with the military, like Obama their immediate response are reflective of their inexperience and stupidity on the art of war. Who are the people surrounding Obama that can really advice him sound judgement? Emmanuel? Van Jones? Dunn? Soros? Even Sec Gates expressed dismayed of Obama’s indicision while leaving the troops hanging in the air for more than two months now? What new strategy they are talking about? Why can’t just admit that house Democrats opposed to the idea and that Obama is hiding under Polosi’s skirt! Be real and start taking care of our troops.

Posted by Jamaal Ako | Report as abusive

The Bush administration invoked the NATO charter, causing our allies (willingly at first) to send troops not only to Afghanistan, but also providing midair refueling of CAP flights after the 911 attack. When troops were sent to Iraq (without getting into the merits of that choice), our real allies (Canada, Britain and the Netherlands)sent troops to supplement our measly force of spec ops and air forces, while “allies” like one Baltic state offered to let us use their airspace in an empty token gesture of support for the war in Iraq. Germany still hides behind a post war ban on sending combat troops overseas, even though they have notably increased air land warfare capabilities.

Cheney beat the drum for Iraq on Bush’s behalf, even though that meant putting Afghanistan on the back burner…giving the enemy time to regroup. The “president” we put in place runs the most corrupt government on earth, and the same people who once cheered their own liberation are now in some cases going back to dealing with a Taliban they see as no worse than the current “government”.

When you’re still fighting a war that should have been properly fought and won years ago, and the locals are now embracing the devil they once scorned, don’t listen to the advice of the “experts” that squandered the chance to rid us of this evil.

Pakistan is finally in the fight…that’ll help a lot more than shallow criticism from one whose only real credentials are a decades long career party hack.

And I’m a Republican (hoping the nitwits and religious right are finally tossed out of a position of influence in the party). I supported McCain both times (until he chose his running mate…then I sat this one out). I may not like all of Obama’s policies, but I refuse to hear him get blamed for ones deliberately manufactured by the Bush administration.

Posted by Brian Foulkrod | Report as abusive

If ever there was a man who should keep his mouth shut (and be in prison) it’s Dick Cheney. He and Bush had six years to get it right in Afghanistan and they blew it. They dragged us into a war with Iraq and diverted troops and funds away from fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Let’s remember that Bush himself has said that Iraq had no connection 9/11 (after he said they did) and what about Saddam’s cache of WMD’s? Turns out he didn’t have them. So shut it Dick!

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

How ironic from Mr Cheney who fled the Afghan moutains for the more lucrative fields of Irak chasing evil terrorists!

Posted by phil mat | Report as abusive

One recognizes evildoers quite easily these days and the former Vice- president should keep his very large and foolish mouth shut. This man had a direct hand for nearly eight years and in that time he approved and implemented policies that buried thousands of American boys in Iraq & Afghanistan and now he has the gall and impertinence to tell the new President what he should be doing?

My druthers would be to drop him in prison for the cowardly torturer he is … or at the very least put him in “Camo” and make him do six tours on the front line. Evil is so obvious except to those who are guilty of it.

Posted by Charlie Allnutt | Report as abusive

Go back to your hair trigger quick decisions and keep shooting birds and your friends. You are a has been waste of skin and need to be back in your closet.

Obama is and intelligent man who works collaboratively to make the most optimum decision for America – not for his pocketbook by the way. He represents us well – whereas you certainly did not.

Posted by Various Animal | Report as abusive

Nothing more sad than a washed-up politician who doesn’t know when to quit. Walk away mumbling, Dick, just walk away.

Posted by J Blaylock | Report as abusive

Does the former vice president want to make a run for president?

OH I almost forgot he is the knuckle head who got us there in the first place.

He needs to take a back seat in the mountains and do what he does best …

Posted by Philippe | Report as abusive

When does Dick Cheney leave the building – forever? Referring to “success in Iraq” and sitting on an approval rating that is below double-digits makes one wonder why the mainstream media still consider his musings worthy of the extensive coverage they’re awarded. Please pull the platform – and maybe then Mr. Cheney will finally disappear.

Posted by RD Lecky | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Cheney,
We barely hear two words from you for the eight years you were in office as the 2nd most powerful man in the free world. Now that you’re out, you can’t seem to shut up with your wholly negative criticism of the current administration, warranted or not.

Newsflash: You had your chance to do something positive. Instead, you were an integral part as to why this country’s in the position/state it currently is in – on the domestic homefront, as well as worldwide.

Gee, thanks.

Middle-Class America
Our children
Our children’s children

Posted by CMS | Report as abusive


Posted by LIFEINTHEOBX | Report as abusive

IMHO, it is a miracle that a Department of Homeland Security which has managed to include small children and legislators on its no-fly list HAS NOT included Cheney, Limbaugh or Beck. (Die-hard conservatives may attribute this to presidential ineptitude.

Posted by Bob Walton | Report as abusive

Obama will make no decision till after the November elections,the democrats are on the ropes in the 2 governors races,and he is worried that if is forced to send more troops his lefty loones will stay at home on election night sucking their thumbs.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Mr. Cheney, Have you no honor? I thought that when Bush stole the election back in ’01 that at least he would have wisdom provided by you. I trusted you to guide the idiot in the proper ways…boy was I wrong and now you stand up there commenting on a man that is trying to undo the mess the you and your administration got us into. Please, step back you’ve done enough.

Posted by maxine oishi | Report as abusive