Leading national security expert Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama was repeatedly “disingenuous” in his State of the Union address, and charges that the world will become “much more dangerous” due to Obama’s foreign policy.
Gaffney, an assistant secretary of defense in the Ronald Reagan administration, warns that the threat of sequestration is already reducing American power and will ultimately lead to a “hollow” military.
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He also asserts that Iran’s nuclear program will eventually pose a threat to the United States as well as Israel, and insists that Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel and John Brennan for security posts should not be confirmed.
Gaffney is founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, host of the syndicated Secure Freedom Radio, and the publisher of “Shariah: The Threat to America.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Gaffney says “foreign policy was almost entirely absent from [Obama’s] speech and indeed, it’s largely been absent from his role as commander in chief.
“He was essentially missing in action during the recent attack on our special mission compound, as they now call it, in Benghazi. These are the characteristics of an administration that is at the very best clueless about America’s role in the world and how imperative it is that it be a leading and powerful role, and at worst, it exemplifies a sense that that no longer is the case. I believe the world will become much more dangerous as a result.”
Over the weekend, former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the president’s nominations of John Brennan for CIA chief and Chuck Hagel for Defense secretary, saying they were “yes men.”
Gaffney comments: “The question in my mind is only partly that they will be people who will only be too happy to execute the president’s policies. Yes men, if you would. These are people who bring their own very bad judgment to the national security challenges of our time, and to the extent that they are actually serving in policy-making roles, they’re not simply going to be executing bad direction from the president, they will be compounding it.
“That is all the more reason why they should not be confirmed in their respective roles.”
Defense Department officials have warned Congress that the spending cuts required by sequestration would pose a dire threat to the U.S. military.
“One of the most disingenuous parts of the president’s speech was when he suggested in the State of the Union Address that he was very concerned about that effect,” Gaffney observes. “I don’t think he’s concerned at all about the effect, or he is certainly doing nothing material to prevent it from happening.
“That effect will be manifested in a lot of different ways. We’re already seeing it translate into a reduced presence of American power around the world. The ability to project that power is similarly being reduced. The ability to modernize our forces, to even to maintain, in many cases, worn out equipment, is also going to be affected.
“The training of our personnel is plummeting, which means in short order we will have what we have had on occasion in the past, notably during the Carter years, before my boss Ronald Reagan turned things around, namely a hollow military, and that’s a very dangerous thing not only for the world but for us here at home as well.”
Republicans “should be fighting to repeal sequestration, to block the implementation of these cuts at least for the defense department,” he adds. “I’m very concerned that some Republicans think that the budget deficit is actually a greater threat to our interests, to our security, to our survival as a nation, than some of our enemies and they’re going along with it. They are a part of the problem at the moment.”
President Obama said in his Tuesday speech that he would stand by Israel in pursuit of security and peace.
“Another disingenuous statement by the president was that sort of throw away applause line on Israel,” Gaffney declares.
“You saw the full chamber rising to his feet as if he were serious about it but unfortunately he is not. He is not doing what he could to stop Iran. He is not even helping the Israelis do what they could to stop Iran.”
Referring to Obama’s effort to open direct negotiations with the Iranians, “what will happen is the Iranians will use that excuse to buy further time to finish the job, which the North Koreans by the way are helping, the job of getting the bomb and threatening I’m afraid not just Israel but us with it in due course.”
Turning to Egypt, Gaffney tells Newsmax “there is no basis for believing that the Muslim Brotherhood or its president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is with us in the war on terror. They are part of the enemy. They wish, as does al-Qaida, as do all of the other Islamists in the world, to impose their doctrine of Sharia on all of us and force us to do that if need be.
“The Camp David accords are now all but a thing of the past. The new round of violence hasn’t begun between Israel and Egypt, thank God, but it’s a matter of time because everybody in the region knows that something very fundamental has changed. Egypt has moved from the group of countries supporting Israel, supporting the United States holding the line on the jihadists, into the camp of the jihadists and that’s a very ominous development for Israel and for our interest in the region as well.”
Asked about the recent emergence of al-Qaida in North Africa, Gaffney responds: “Yet another disingenuous comment by the president was the reiteration of this meme of his that we have essentially eliminated al-Qaida, even though he felt constrained to say yes, there are some other elements that are sort of emerging elsewhere in the world.
“The reality is this: We have killed some of the leaders of al-Qaida, that’s a good thing. But we certainly have not defeated the larger enterprise of which al-Qaida is one part, that is the community of Muslims who adhere to Sharia and who, by their sense of God’s will, feel obliged to wage Jihad to impose it on the rest of us.
“We are nowhere near defeating them or even slowing their ascendency. To the contrary, the United States government under Obama is today helping achieve that ascendency by funding and legitimating and empowering and even arming and certainly emboldening the Muslim Brotherhood and others in this cohort.
“So we are badly served by a president or a secretary of defense or a CIA designate director, by folks who will tell us that everything’s coming up roses.”
Gaffney also says the warring factions in Syria will not agree to negotiate because neither President Bashar al-Assad nor the rebels have the “incentive” to do so.
And he says North Korea’s testing of a nuclear device this week could serve as a “wakeup call that President Obama’s commitment to rid the world of nuclear weapons is a formula simply for ridding the United States of its nuclear weapons.
“That will not make the world safer and we will face not only greater problems in the future from North Korea, but from its allies and friends and enablers like China and Russia and Pakistan and, not least, Iran.”
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