TIME Foreign Policy

Cheney: Obama Military Cuts ‘Devastating’

“We need the world’s strongest military"

Former Vice President Dick Cheney lambasted President Barack Obama’s leadership of the military on Thursday night, saying he has hamstrung the nation for a generation.

Speaking at a closed-door gathering of top Republican Party officials in Chicago, Cheney defended American engagement in the world.

“We are reducing the size of the army to where it’s the size of where it was below Pearl Harbor,” Cheney said, according to multiple GOP officials who were in attendance. “President Obama is making an enormous impact on some President 15 or 20 years from now when he has to respond to some crisis. I can guarantee you no future secretary of defense will call Barack Obama and thank him for what he did.”

Cheney called the military cuts “devastating,” adding “We are not involved in that part of the world for charity. We are involved for our basic interests.”

“We need the world’s strongest military,” Cheney said. “It’s as important now as it’s ever been.”

Earlier Thursday, Cheney’s daughter, former Bush Administration official Liz Cheney, defended the practice of waterboarding and criticized Obama for calling it torture.

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