The rise of terrorism around the world and America's growing inability to deal with it may set the stage for another 9/11-style attack on the U.S. — one that is far worse, former Vice President Dick Cheney tells Newsmax TV
Appearing on "The Hard Line," Cheney, who served under George W. Bush, said Wednesday that the nation's capacity to deal with terror has been diminished because of "dramatic" budget cuts by the Obama administration.
"There are very serious threats we're facing, perhaps the most serious since the end of World War II," Cheney told host Ed Berliner.
"On the other hand, the capacity force to manage those threats and deal with them has been significantly reduced."
Cheney discusses the nation's need to regain its former strength in "Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,"
a new book written with his daughter, Liz Cheney, and published by Threshold Editions.
He believes the rise of the Islamic State [ISIS] is particularly disturbing — and dangerous.
"[ISIS has] already established a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. That's been an objective of the radical Islamist for a long time and they've done it. The question now is do they have the reach to be able to begin to implement events in that part of the world and clearly they have," Cheney said.
"We used to worry just about al-Qaida in Afghanistan, now we're dealing with ISIS that, for example, has reached out into Libya and is a dominant force in Libya. They've now tied in with Boko Haram down in Nigeria there.
"Their writ is pretty much throughout the region and they are extremely bloody minded and dedicated to the destruction of Israel, but also the United States. So it is a growing threat and then when you add to that the mixture of nuclear weapons in the Middle East it becomes an especially difficult proposition."
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And that growth, Cheney believes, brings up the specter of a possible attack on the scale of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City.
"Remember 9/11, it was caused by 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters and look at the damage they did — worst attack ever in the United States," Cheney told Berliner.
"The danger I fear going forward is that there will be another mass casualty attack like 9/11, but they may use far deadlier weapons than they did on 9/11. So ISIS is a part of that as well as the situation in Iran [with the impending nuclear deal]. The administration's approach to nuclear weapons in Iran is entirely misplaced.
"[It's] taking a regime that's the worst terrorist sponsoring regime on the face of the Earth, providing it with significant capability to lift the embargo on missiles, [and] lifting the embargo on conventional weapons, returning over $100 billion to them at a time that they also will be able to maintain their capacity to enrich uranium and pursue a nuclear weapon."
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