December 1, 2009
Posted: 02:35 PM ET
On the eve of the unveiling of the nation’s new Afghanistan policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Barack Obama for projecting “weakness” to adversaries and warned that more workaday Afghans will side with the Taliban if they think the United States is heading for the exits.
In a 90-minute interview at his suburban Washington house, Cheney said the president’s “agonizing” about Afghanistan strategy “has consequences for your forces in the field.”
“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,” Cheney said.
“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?”
Obama administration officials have complained ever since taking office that they face a series of unpalatable — if not impossible — national security decisions in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of the Bush administration’s unwavering insistence on focusing on Iraq.
But Cheney rejected any suggestion that Obama had to decide on a new strategy for Afghanistan because the one employed by the previous administration failed.
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