Here is video of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs this morning saying he does not know what would qualify former Vice-President Dick Cheney to render an opinion on Afghanistan.
Gibbs was responding to remarks by Cheney in an interview Cheney did with Politico. Here are some highlights:
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 will announce a troop buildup in Afghanistan in a speech Tuesday at West Point, and he’s expected to send at least 30,000 more U.S. troops to the country. The White House also has said that Obama will outline a general time frame for the United States to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan.
But Cheney said the average Afghan citizen “sees talk about exit strategies and how soon we can get out, instead of talk about how we win.
“Those folks ... begin to look for ways to accommodate their enemies,” Cheney said. “They’re worried the United States isn’t going to be there much longer and the bad guys are.”
During the interview, Cheney laced his concerns with a broader critique of Obama’s foreign and national security policy, saying Obama’s nuanced and at times cerebral approach projects “weakness” and that the president is looking “far more radical than I expected.”
“Here’s a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place ... and who now travels around the world apologizing,” Cheney said. “I think our adversaries — especially when that’s preceded by a deep bow ... — see that as a sign of weakness.” . . . . . . . . MORE