President Barack Obama is projecting “weakness” because of his “agonizing” over whether or not to send more troops into Afghanistan, former vice president Dick Cheney complains:
I begin to get nervous when I see the commander-in-chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small “p” political reasons, where he’s trying to balance off different competing groups in society.
After spending eight years more or less undercover, Cheney has become an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration. Especially where the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are concerned. Wars, of course, his administration started, and arguably mismanaged.
Cheney questions the Democratic president’s ability to steer the war in the right direction:
Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander-in-chief really behind what they’ve been asked to do?
Apparently, after neglecting the Afghan War for almost his entire two terms in office, Cheney is now concerned with the soldiers on the ground.
Asked if he believes the Bush Administration bears part of the responsibility for the difficulties faced in Afghanistan today, the former vice president answered, “I basically don’t,” without elaborating.
Sign of weakness
What he was willing to elaborate on was Obama’s “weakness”.
Cheney called the president “far more radical than I expected” and correctly observed that Obama “campaigned against much of what we put in place.”
We referring, of course, to the last government.
“I think that our adversaries […] see that as a sign of weakness,” said Cheney. Traditional allies of the United States see it in a different light. They are relieved to find a government across the Atlantic that is taking them seriously and treats them as equals. Denouncing that only underlines what colossal foreign-policy misjudgments the Bush Administration made.
Cheney’s fear that Obama’s pondering encourages America’s enemies seems misplaced. A war demands a president who isn’t afraid to consider all his options before making a decision. In fact, one-sided advice is probably what led George W. Bush to underestimate the magnitude of the war in the first place. So when Cheney accuses the Democrat of using the war in order to score political points, he ought to take a look in the mirror, not just when it comes to Afghanistan.