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On Wednesday, ahead of President Obama's primetime address to the nation on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), former Vice President Richard B. Cheney delivered remarks at AEI on what the United States must do to defeat ISIS and restore US power around the globe. Cheney began by arguing that among the various issues Washington policymakers must address, US national security ought to be the top priority because all other matters depend on our nation's safety with respect to international threats.
Regarding ISIS, Cheney stressed that the United States should target the militants in their sanctuaries, staging areas, command centers, and lines of communication. Furthermore, the US should provide significantly increased numbers of military trainers and special operations forces, an intelligence architecture, and air power to aid the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga in their counteroffensive against ISIS.
As the United States works to defeat ISIS and prevent the establishment of a terrorist safe haven in the heart of the Middle East, Cheney commented, it must move globally to get back on offense in the war on terror. This entails first recognizing and admitting the size and scope of the threat America faces.
The former vice president concluded his remarks by stating that the security of the United States and its allies depends on American power, and will only be guaranteed with a restoration of American leadership and strength. According to Cheney, terrorists "will be on the wrong side of history only if we put them there."
--Alex Della Rocchetta
This September 11 marks 13 years since the terrorist attacks in New York City; Washington, DC; and Pennsylvania. Although a daring special operations mission has since taken out Osama bin Laden, the world is a much more dangerous place now than it was then. A staggering unfolding of foreign crises has left Iraq on the verge of state failure, enabled al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to metastasize across the Middle East and North Africa, and ignited fierce battles between Gaza and Israel.
Three years ago, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney sat down at AEI for a conversation about the 9/11 attacks, lessons learned and not learned, and the way forward. Ahead of the anniversary of 9/11, AEI welcomes Vice President Cheney back to deliver remarks on the current state and future of American foreign policy.
Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Tully M. Friedman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, AEI
Richard B. Cheney, Former Vice President of the United States
Q & A Session
Marc A. Thiessen, AEI
For more information, please contact Alex Della Rocchetta at [email protected], 202.862.7152.
For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.
Richard B. Cheney served as the 46th vice president of the United States from 2001 to 2009 alongside President George W. Bush. During his terms as vice president, Cheney was best known for his involvement in national security matters following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He likewise served as White House chief of staff during the Gerald Ford administration. After that, Cheney returned to his home state of Wyoming where he was elected in 1978 as the state’s sole member of Congress. Reelected to the office five times, Cheney served in several leadership positions and was chosen by his colleagues as deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives. In 1989, early in Cheney’s sixth term, he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to serve as secretary of defense. In his four years at the Pentagon, Cheney helped lead American forces to victory in Operation Just Cause in Panama and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. In 1991, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Throughout most of the 1990s, Cheney worked in the private sector as chief executive officer of Halliburton in Dallas. Cheney has authored two books, his memoir, “In My Time” (Threshold Editions, 2011), and “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey” (Scribner, 2013).
Tully M. Friedman, chairman and CEO of Friedman Fleischer and Lowe LLC, has 40 years of experience in finance and has spent more than 30 years as a private-equity investor. Before forming Friedman Fleischer and Lowe in 1997, he cofounded and served as one of two managing partners of Hellman & Friedman. He was also a managing director of Salomon Brothers Inc., where he founded the firm’s West Coast corporate finance department. He is currently on the boards of directors of the Clorox Company, Benevis LLC, and Church’s Holding Corporation. Friedman is also vice chairman of the Telluride Foundation. Previously, he was president of the San Francisco Opera Association, chairman of Mount Zion Hospital and Medical Center, and a founding trustee of the Stanford Management Company. Friedman is chairman of the board of trustees at AEI.
Marc A. Thiessen is an AEI scholar and former member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush. As an official in the Bush administration, Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. Before joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC). He is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post, and appears regularly on Fox News and other news networks. His book on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program, titled “Courting Disaster” (Regnery Press, 2010), was a New York Times bestseller. He is the coauthor, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, of "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge" (Sentinel, November 2013). At AEI, Thiessen writes about US foreign and defense policy issues and national politics for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.