Last Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that he wanted to scale back his war on terrorism. On more than one occasion, Obama has said that the US has crippled terrorist organizations such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, leaving them less effective and dangerous than they use to be. He described al Qaeda as being on the path to defeat.
Obama’s announcement has caused concern among many Republicans leaders. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, felt that Obama’s policy change equates to going back to the same type of mentality that we had prior to Sept. 11, 2001. He responded to the president’s statement, saying:
“I think this is the most significant foreign policy address ever given by this president. At the same time I found many parts to it disturbing for many reasons.”
“I couldn’t disagree with him more on that.”
“I think the rhetoric sort of defies the reality in terms of the threat level that we’ve all been briefed on. I mean, the narrative is sort of that, you know, al Qaeda is on the run, they’re defeated, let’s claim victory, war’s over. And then let’s go back to a pre-9/11 mentality.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also expressed concern over Obama’s statement, saying:
“What do you think the Iranians are thinking? At the end of the day, this is the most tone-deaf president I ever could imagine, making such a speech at a time when our homeland is trying to be attacked literally every day.”
“I’ve never been more worried about our national security as I am right now. This speech did not help.”
Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush also reacted to Obama’s statement.
“I would give this administration an F, because they won’t even use the words.”
“Until today, I haven’t heard people use the word jihad.”
“I haven’t heard the people in the Obama administration talk about the fact that there are people that are determined to kill innocent men, women, and children that are attacking the whole concept of the nation state.”