WASHINGTON — A potential 2016 GOP candidate and US senator is slamming a new White House national security strategy that emphasizes diplomacy and "strategic patience."
In the introduction of the new national security strategy document, President Barack Obama writes the global "challenges we face require strategic patience and persistence."
But GOP Senate Armed Services Committee member Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is exploring a White House bid, says America's enemies are emboldened by Obama's approach.
"I doubt [the Islamic State], the Iranian mullahs, or [Russian President] Vladimir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama's strategy of 'strategic patience'," Graham said Friday in a statement. "From their point of view, the more 'patience' President Obama practices, the stronger they become."
Graham's criticism is merely the latest example of the philosophic chasm on security issues between Obama and congressional hawks. They want a more muscular foreign policy; Obama favors diplomacy and tools such as economic sanctions over military action.
"America leads from a position of strength," Obama writes in the strategy document. "But, this does not mean we can or should attempt to dictate the trajectory of all unfolding events around the world. As powerful as we are and will remain, our resources and influence are not infinite."
To Graham and other hawks, Obama's approach "has led to a world in chaos," the lawmaker said.
"We now confront a growing threat from radical Islamists intent on striking the American homeland as well as wreaking havoc on the Middle East, Iranian mullahs intent on obtaining nuclear weapons capability, strengthened dictatorships in Russia and Cuba, and the poorest relationship with Israel in decades," Graham said.
"The consequences of Obama's 'strategic patience' are an America that is less secure and at greater risk," he added. "Applying more 'patience' to President Obama's failed foreign policy just prolongs failure."