A retired General who served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army and helped train Iraq's military between 2003 and 2004 called former Vice President Dick Cheney an "incompetent war fighter."


National Security Network Senior Adviser and Retired General Paul Eaton made the comments after Cheney criticized Obama in a Wednesday night speech for "dithering" about whether to substantially increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Obama has been under pressure from his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to add as many as 40,000 to 60,000 U.S. troops on the ground.

"The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters," Eaton said in a statement released Thursday. "They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it.  2.  Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11."

Cheney's criticisms of Obama came during his Wednesday night acceptance speech for the Center for Security Policy's "Keeper of the Flame" award.

“President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission,” the former vice president said of the current administration's approach to Afghanistan.

Eaton rejected those comments, adding that "the only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy 'experts' have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. Simply put, Mr. Cheney sees history throughout extremely myopic and partisan eyes."

Eaton said he appreciates the "profound deliberations" that Obama and military commanders are having about Afhgan war strategy, and would "dismiss men like Cheney who inject partisan politics" into those discussions.

Rachel Maddow is joined by Ret. Major General Paul Eaton to discuss why former Vice President Dick Cheney is the last person anyone should listen to about successful prosecution of war and productive foreign policy.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Oct. 22, 2009.


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