“On critical national security issues, President Obama’s speech tonight was an unfortunate demonstration of how strategically listless his Administration now is,” Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
McCain and Graham described Obama’s idea for a smarter US leadership as “puzzling,” pointing to instability in the Middle East, a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, terrorist threats, Russian aggression against Ukraine and China’s rising role in Asia.
“American leadership is clearly not ‘smarter’ under President Obama – it is dangerously absent,” the two senators said.
“Despite the President’s claims of progress in the campaign against ISIS, this terrorist army continues to gain thousands of recruits and now controls significantly more territory in Syria than when US airstrikes began there six months ago,” McCain and Graham said.
Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, also described Obama’s national security policy as empty rhetoric.
“The president ignores the threat of terrorists and foreign fighters to America both at home and abroad, while also failing to address our porous borders,” McCaul said.
“In too many corners of the globe, America’s enemies are strengthening, the threat from terrorist groups is growing, and American leadership is lacking,” Royce said, criticizing the US lack of engagement in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
Royce said US engagement in conflicts around the globe have been weak and not sustained, leading to failed US leadership to address challenges to the United States.
On Thursday Obama gave the State of Union address, claiming the United States is halting the advance of the Islamic State and standing up to Russia’s policies in Ukraine. The president described terrorism as a threat to the US and its allies, as well as pointing to climate change as a national security threat.