Former Vice President
In a speech at a conservative think tank hours before Obama will address the nation on his strategy to combat the Islamic State, Cheney said the president must show a new commitment to doing "what it takes, for as long as it takes" to defeat them.
After nearly six years in office, Obama has demonstrated "his own distrust for American power as a force for good," Cheney argued, and said the establishment of the new caliphate offers evidence of what happens when the United States follows through on that view.
"Inaction by America spells opportunity for our adversaries," he said. "While the president was claiming the tide of war was receding and core Al Qaeda was decimated, the threat was actually increasing."
Cheney said he hoped to hear a "forceful" and "bold" strategy from Obama tonight, and said such a plan would "mark an abrupt and dramatic departure from his record so far."
"So often President Obama responds to crises by announcing all the things that he will not do," he said. "We can hope that pattern ends tonight."
Senate Majority Leader
"We should be learning from our past mistakes, not repeating them," Reid said on the Senate floor. "The president knows how to destroy terrorists and their organization. [The
Cheney called the current situation in the Mideast the "most dangerous we have faced" in his lifetime, and outlined steps the U.S. should take, some of which the administration has signaled it is considering. The Islamic State should be targeted in Syria as well as Iraq, Cheney said, and the U.S. should offer "significantly increased numbers" of special ops forces, military trainers and intelligence assets to support others fighting the militants.
He also warned that the U.S. should halt its planned drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, saying "the terror and chaos in Iraq today will only be repeated" in Afghanistan.
Cheney has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of the president on defense issues, filling a void particularly among
Alluding to criticism of his own neoconservative convictions, Cheney countered that "a policy of nonintervention can be just as dogmatic," and that Obama has "seemed at times more sure of himself as he is disproved by events."
A day after he visited with House Republicans, he conceded that there was a "strain of isolation" now within the GOP that he has worked to confront.
"I've tried to make the point repeatedly that [for] anybody who went through