WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Sunday assailed President Obama’s vision for winding down the war on terrorism, using talk show appearances to accuse him of misunderstanding the threat in a way that will embolden unfriendly nations.
“We show this lack of resolve, talking about the war being over,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “What do you think the Iranians are thinking? At the end of the day, this is the most tone-deaf president I ever could imagine.”
In his first major foreign policy address of his second term, Obama said last week that it is time for the nation to narrow the scope of its long battle against terrorists and begin a transition away from a war footing.
In addition to renewing his call to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he said he would seek to limit his own war power.
He also issued new policy guidance that would shift responsibility for strikes by unmanned drone aircraft to the military from the CIA and said there would be stricter standards for such strikes. Graham, a strong supporter of the drone program, said he objected to changing the standards.
Democrats appearing on the television Sunday, including Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, praised Obama for what they view as a necessary recalibrating of civil liberties and national security interests.
“We have to balance our values,” Wasserman Schultz said on ABC’s “This Week.”