Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney Reuters

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday criticized the current president, Barack Obama, over the way he has dealt with violent jihadists, AFP reported.

In a Washington speech, Cheney criticized a "disengaged" Obama for his defensive posture in the face of extremist threats, including those posed by the Islamic State (IS).

"While the president was claiming the tide of war was receding and core Al-Qaeda had been decimated, the threat was actually increasing," Cheney said at the American Enterprise Institute think tank where he received a standing ovation.

"From Iraq, Syria and Yemen, over to Pakistan, all the way down to Somalia and west to Nigeria - in various places under various names - a whole new wave of jihadists was on the rise," he added, according to AFP.

Speaking hours before Obama unveiled his IS strategy, Cheney said the administration needed to take a stronger tack.

"We must move globally to get back on offence in the war on terror," he warned.

"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, decrying the "decline of American military power" due to "irrational" budget cuts.

His advice to Obama on tackling IS? "Immediately hit them in their sanctuaries, staging areas, command centers, and lines of communication wherever we find them."

That includes Syria, where the U.S. administration has hesitated to get directly involved in that country's raging civil war, said Cheney.

He stressed the importance of contributing U.S. military trainers and special forces to the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces waging battle against IS.

Republicans have been critical of Obama’s foreign strategy in general and have recently called on him to take more aggressive action to defeat IS. They have accused him of policies that have failed to thwart potential new threats on U.S. soil.

Last week, Obama was criticized after he said he has "no strategy" to combat IS in Syria, causing the White House to scramble to explain the comment.

Cheney himself has criticized Obama in the past. In 2012, he lambasted the president as an "unmitigated disaster."

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