From CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A senior diplomat in the Obama administration Sunday challenged former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assessment of the new administration’s ability to keep the country safe.
Cheney was asked two weeks ago on CNN’s State of the Union whether he thought President Obama had made the country less safe since taking office. “I do,” Cheney told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “He is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack,” the former vice president added.
But U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, a senior diplomat in Obama’s State Department, said Sunday that he didn’t understand where Cheney was coming from with his criticism.
“I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about,” Holbrooke said,
“We are treating Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single theater. We are going to address it in an integrated way. We are going to give it more resources. And that is where the people planning the next attack on the United States or on our European allies are certainly doing it. So I just do not understand what his comments were referenced to.”
Gen. David Petraeus, echoed Holbrooke. “You served in the Bush administration under Vice President Cheney and President Bush,” King said to Petraeus. “You're now serving in the Obama administration. Are the American people less safe because of this new president?” King asked
“I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that,” the U.S. CENTCOM commander said Sunday.