Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that President Barack Obama's policies are allowing a "worldwide virus" of terrorism from places like North Africa and Syria to destabilize the planet and "potentially" infect Europe and the United States.

Gingrich on Sunday told CNN's Candy Crowley that a recent hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria was evidence that terrorism was more like a virus than "Whac-A-Mole."

"I think we haven't had any honest epidemiology," he explained. "We're trying to hunt down 5,000 people in al Qaeda, there is a potential pool of 65 to 100 million recruits... They're spreading across the whole planet, from the Philippines to, frankly, the United States. And I think we greatly underestimate how many places you're going to have trouble in the next decade."

"We talk about the Iranian potential nuclear weapon, Pakistan is probably building more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world right now," he continued. "Pakistan is a very fragile system which could disintegrate at any time. We're not prepared for that. The whole challenge of the Persian Gulf, we're not prepared for that. The level of violence in Syria."

The former House Speaker argued that Obama was advocating a "minimalist approach to the world" by nominating Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to be secretary of state and secretary of defense.

"Neither of them nor the president have a positive vision of how you're going to deal with a worldwide virus that is increasingly destabilizing the planet," he opined.

"And that's what's happening from Pakistan through North Africa to Syria, and I think potentially in Europe and the United States."

Watch this video from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast Jan. 20, 2013.