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Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | republicans | blast barack obama | national | security

GOP Slams Obama's National Security Plan: 'A World in Chaos'

By    |   Friday, 06 February 2015 08:39 PM

Republicans bashed President Barack Obama's national security plan on Friday, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham charging that its emphasis on "strategic patience" has created a "world in chaos."

"The Obama doctrine, or 'strategic patience,' has led to a world in chaos," Graham said.

"The consequences of Obama’s 'strategic patience' are an America that is less secure and at greater risk.

"Applying more 'patience' to President Obama’s failed foreign policy just prolongs failure," he said.

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said the strategy "highlights a conflict between perception and reality.

"The president puts an emphasis on climate change as a means to address our national security, which is nothing new and not a strategy," he added. "The reality is we live in a world where the threats to our security have grown exponentially over the last six years.

"We need a national security strategy that is driven by the threats we face today, and we need to stand with our allies and partners against the tyrants and terrorists who threaten our shared security," Inhofe said.

Both Inhofe and Graham are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a 29-page document released by the White House, Obama warned against American "overreach" around the world, though he cast the United States as an indispensable force in combating such global challenges as terrorism, climate change and cyber security.

The strategy, however hews closely to Obama's long-held views and forecasts no major shifts in the military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) or in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Obama said threat of terrorism against the U.S. "has diminished, but still persists" — and he vowed to degrade ISIS and other extremist groups with counterterrorism operations and global coalitions, not large-scale, American-led ground wars.

"The United States will always defend our interests and uphold our commitments to allies and partners," he wrote in the document's introduction. "But we have to make hard choices among many competing priorities and we must always resist the over-reach that comes when we make decisions based upon fear."

President Obama is required by law to send Congress a national security strategy every year. However, most presidents, including Obama, have done so only sporadically. His only previous memo to lawmakers came in 2010 and formalized his desire to broaden U.S. national security posture beyond anti-terror campaigns.

The document's release comes as the White House drafts its resolution to Congress seeking authorization for the use of force against ISIS, which Idaho Sen. James Risch said Congress would approve — depending on its conditions.

"I think, at the end of the day, Congress will give him the authorization," Risch, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "What that looks like, we will see in the coming days."

When asked whether he would specifically support an authorization, Risch said, "It's going to depend on the exact language."

But Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Navy veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that he would not back an authorization that excluded ground forces.

"That would be a mistake," he said. "Even if he doesn't want to use ground troops, why would you telegraph to the enemy: 'Oh, hey, ISIS, hey jihadists, we are going to go to war with you — but we are not going to use everything at our disposal.' "

DeSantis added that he would oppose any time limits on the authorization sought by the White House.

"That that tips off to the enemy that we're serious about fighting, but only for a finite period of time," he said.

In addition, Risch told Blitzer that the United States "had reason to believe" that an attack on ISIS in this country and in Europe is "moving beyond aspirational."

"We all know that ISIS has had aspirations, the desire, to hit the homeland and to hit Europe," he said. "We have reason to believe that it is moving beyond aspiration, and we're going to have to do something."

Risch declined to be more specific, however, only saying: "Probably as far as I want to go is that we all know that it has been aspirational. We have reason to believe it is moving beyond aspirational."

The comments reflect consistent attacks on President Obama's foreign policy by Republicans, who have accused him of putting his desire to keep the U.S. out of overseas conflicts ahead of the need for more robust action against the world's bad actors.

They have called on Obama to send more American ground troops to the Middle East to combat the Islamic State and have pushed for the administration to authorize shipments of defensive weapons to Ukraine to help its beleaguered military in the fight against Russian-backed separatists.

This week, the 26 bipartisan members of the Senate Armed Services Committee demanded that the White House speed up military aid to Jordan as it steps up its fight against ISIS for its torching of a pilot captured last year — and GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter of California argued that Amman should get U.S. predator drones right away.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, however, said that Obama's critics lacked perspective.

"While the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or during the Cold War," she told the Brookings Institution on Friday. "We cannot afford to be buffeted by alarmism in a nearly instantaneous news cycle."

Obama has two years left in his term, Rice said, "and two years is plenty of time" to address the Islamic State, Russian aggression and climate change.

But Republicans slammed Obama's plan because it lacked new ideas.

"This new 'strategy' is a regurgitation of the same failed policies that have engendered an international environment of weakness and made the United States and our allies around the world less safe," said Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, who serves with DeSantis on the House panel. "Instead of offering a plan to arm the Ukrainians so they can successfully combat ongoing Russian aggression, the Obama administration urged more restraint and inaction.

"The president must change course and recognize that Putin poses a threat not only to Ukraine, but to our NATO allies throughout Europe."

Referring to some of America's immediate global threats, Graham said: "I doubt ISIL, the Iranian mullahs, or Vladmir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama’s strategy of 'strategic patience.'

"From their point of view, the more 'patience' President Obama practices, the stronger they become."

Inhofe charged that the biggest casualty of Obama's national security efforts has been the U.S. armed forces.

Throughout the president's term, "our military has been systematically dismantled, and the lack of U.S. leadership and presence has created a vacuum around the world," he said.

"The president’s strategy promotes a continued pivot to rebalance Asia and the Pacific, but yet there are no resources available given the instability in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The president promotes nuclear zero with a willingness to unilaterally disarm America while watching Iran and North Korean develop their nuclear capabilities.

"We cannot advance the security of the United States by simply maintaining our military in its current state," Inhofe said. "Military readiness is at the lowest levels seen since Vietnam and its size has been reduced to the levels of pre-World War II."

But Obama's plans for improving the nation's energy independence received cautious praise from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"I am encouraged that the Obama administration recognized the importance of America’s role in the global energy marketplace and the importance of energy security for our nation and our closest allies," she said. "Right now, America has the ability to show the world that it can be an energy superpower due to the boom in energy production that is occurring on state and private lands.

"I hope that the administration means what it says and takes steps to increase energy production on federal lands."

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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Republicans bashed President Barack Obama's national security plan on Friday, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham charging that its emphasis on "strategic patience" has created a "world in chaos."
republicans, blast barack obama, national, security, plan, isis, jordan, war, terror
Friday, 06 February 2015 08:39 PM
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