Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she knows Americans are tired after years of intervention abroad, but a weak foreign policy like the one being carried out by President Barack Obama will only encourage more threats that the nation will not be able to ignore.
Giving the keynote address at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday evening, Rice asserted that the lack of strength and resolve projected by the U.S. in recent years has made for a world fraught with danger.
"Right now, there’s a vacuum. There’s a vacuum because we’ve decided to lower our voice. We’ve decided to step back. We've decided that if we step back and lower our voice, others will lead. Other things will fill the vacuum," she said, The Washington Times reports
"But of course it's not our allies and our friends, it's not the international norms that have filled that vacuum. It is instead dictators like Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Vladimir Putin in Russia. It’s extremists like al Qaeda raising the black flag in Fallujah in Iraq."
The Hill reports that Rice, without mentioning the president by name, questioned the Obama administration's commitment
to making sure the country is properly able to protect its interests.
"Our values and our interests require defense. As Ronald Reagan famously said, peace really only comes through strength. What are we doing? What are we doing when we're talking about a defense budget that is so small that our military starts to tell us that we may not in fact be able to carry out all of the requirements put upon it?" Rice asked.
Rice, again without naming Obama, also blamed a leadership void for the current flagging resolve among Americans to remain engaged in world affairs.
"I fully understand the sense of weariness. I fully understand that we must think 'Us, again?' I know that we've been through two difficult wars. I know that we have been vigilant against terrorism. I know that it's hard. But leaders can't afford to get tired. Leaders can't afford to be weary."
Rice has been re-emerging on the political scene
of late, making campaign appearances, penning op-ed pieces and even providing her first endorsement of a candidate for the 2014 midterm elections, throwing her support to her former National Security Council employee, Republican Dan Sullivan, in his Senate battle in Alaska against Democrat Sen. Mark Begich.
In a March 7 Washington Post opinion piece
, Rice did name the Obama administration, blaming its "reset" policy with Russia for encouraging Russian President Putin’s current aggressiveness toward Ukraine.
After Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008, modest steps taken by the U.S., including sending ships into the Black Sea and humanitarian aid, "did not hold," she wrote.
"And then the Obama administration’s 'reset' led to an abrupt revision of plans to deploy missile defense components in the Czech Republic and Poland. Talk of Ukraine and Georgia’s future in NATO ceased. Moscow cheered."
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