Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney tells a conservative group that Obama should strike targets inside Syria or risk the loss of American credibility. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday (September 10) that the rapid rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria can be attributed to the failure of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to assert American influence in the region. Ahead of a key speech in which Obama will outline his strategy for confronting Islamic State, Cheney said only aggressive U.S. military action will defeat the militant group which seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate across the region. "A realistic strategy has to recognize that ISIS is a grave strategic threat to the United States. The situation is dire, and defeating these terrorists will require immediate, sustained, simultaneous action across multiple fronts. Phasing in our actions will not suffice. Such a strategy will only prolong the conflict and increase the casualties," Cheney said. Obama was expected to ask Congress to provide funds to support moderate elements of the Syria opposition forces. The former Vice President, however, said the U.S. should move swiftly and hit Islamic State with airstrikes inside Syria. "Our President must understand we are at war and that we must do what it takes, for as long as it takes, to win," Cheney said. "Winning will require allies. Across the broader Middle East we have to assure our friends and allies that America will not abandon them. After five and one-half years of an administration sending regular messages of retreat, withdrawal and indifference, we have lost credibility and the trust of allies that we need to win this war."