(Newsmax) – President Barack Obama has gone to great lengths to reject any strategy in Iraq reminiscent of the ground engagement ordered by former President George W. Bush, but former Vice President Dick Cheney’s re-emergence to fight for a hawkish policy could be undermining support for the president’s approach.
According to The Washington Times, the American people may be warming to a “Bush-like” solution with evidence from polls indicating that the public strongly supports expanded airstrikes, while 50 percent of American voters believe ground troops will be needed to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS).
“Once again President Obama’s campaign rhetoric has smacked into reality. Foreign policy is more complicated than simply being against whatever George Bush was for,” Matthew Latimer, a former speechwriter Bush, told the Times.
“Ironically, the president’s efforts to be ‘anybody but Bush’ may well have led the administration to create a situation in the Middle East that requires a Bush-like solution.”
The number of voters who believe that Obama’s 2011 withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq was a mistake now equals the number of voters who support the policy, which was partially driven by the president’s attempt to distance himself from the approach of the Bush administration.
Cheney this week has been hammering the president for squandering the gains achieved in Iraq during the Bush years, using a meeting with congressional Republicans on the Hill and a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
“This is the same president, after all, who not long ago was assuring the nation that the tide of war was receding,” Cheney said Wednesday. “That was the very time when the dangers now obvious to all were gathering.”
He slammed Obama’s foreign policy approach saying it often focuses on “announcing all the things he will not do” rather than laying out a pro-active vision for American engagement.
“If you think American withdrawal marks an ebbing of conflict and a return to peace, then consider the new Islamist caliphate and all that will be needed to clean it up.”