The idea that former Vice President Dick Cheney has been chiding President Obama for his foreign policy in Iraq has provoked a considerable amount of side-eye from Democrats—and some Republicans—of late.
Speaking on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, Cheney denounced Obama's milquetoast approach, saying his administration has "failed utterly" to maintain the post-9/11 security apparatus that Cheney and President George W. Bush put in place.
"After years of saying that America had lost its way, abandoned our values in building up that security apparatus, now he's invoking it to give assurance that we are prepared," Cheney told the audience. "I know something about that apparatus. I was one of its architects. And President Obama seems willfully blind to one of the key facts about the post-9/11 security apparatus: It is not self-sustaining. Those programs and policies must be kept strong and current."
Cheney added that there is "no more urgent business" than for lawmakers in Congress to make the defense budget their top priority. On Tuesday, Cheney addressed House Republicans to "rapturous reception" among some members and unease among others. Younger, more-libertarian-minded House Republicans are wary of Cheney's call for more defense spending. After all, the U.S. defense budget already dwarfs other countries in the world. In 2012, the U.S. spent more on defense than the next 10 countries combined.