- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2015

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says that he’s tried for some time to understand President Obama but that he hasn’t been able to figure him out yet.

Mr. Cheney said over the weekend on AM 970’s “The Cats Roundtable” with John Catsimatidis that Mr. Obama has placed limits on what airstrikes have been able to do in combating the Islamic State terrorist group.

“I think he doesn’t really want to be there — I think he’s there very reluctantly in terms of having fielded a limited force, because he felt after ISIS moved in in a big way and is obviously such a major threat, he felt that he had to do something politically, but it’s half a loaf, it’s pin pricks,” Mr. Cheney said. “In order to be really effective with air power, you’ve got to be able to actively and aggressively go hit those targets, and that means targeting … that means flying enough missions to be able to do the job, and clearly they’re not allowed to do that at this point.”

“I’ve tried for a long time, John, to try to understand what makes him tick, and frankly I don’t know,” he said.

“ISIS moved in and filled the vacuum that was left when Obama abandoned the Iraqis,” Mr. Cheney said. “Partly what’s going on here, I think, is the Sunni-Shia conflict and ISIS is primarily Sunni, so that’s, I think, why you’ve got an affiliation developing between the Sunni tribal leaders out in Al Anbar province, who frankly used to work very closely with us when we were there, and ISIS now — I think a lot of it has to do with that internal conflict.”

Mr. Cheney also defended the NSA’s phone-snooping program as a “good program” that’s “done a lot of good for us,” and that nobody’s rights have been violated by it. He described the USA Freedom Act, which overhauled the agency’s bulk data collection and stipulates that the data will be housed by phone companies rather than the NSA, as an “unwise compromise.”

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