Rep. Franks: Obama needs to 'wake up' on world threats

A Republican on the Armed Services Committee said that the Obama administration "seems to be asleep at the wheel" in its policies toward terrorism and nuclear proliferation by rogue states.

"I think that this president has subverted critical national security policy to his need to look 'reasonable' in other less friendly parts of the world," Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told The Hill.

"This administration does not seem to understand the intent of jihadist ideology," Franks said, adding that it "could be fatal to a great many people and to world stability itself if Mr. Obama does not wake up."

Franks introduced the Protect the Homeland from North Korean and Iranian Ballistic Missiles Act last year, which never was given a hearing, and the Peace Through Strength Act of 2009 that detailed sanctions against Iran. That bill sits in committee.

Five years ago, Franks called from the House floor for Iran to be referred to the U.N. Security Council.

"My fear is that this administration has surreptitiously embraced a policy of allowing Iran to gain nuclear weapons, and I cannot begin to express the naivete and dangerous insanity of this policy," he said.

Franks lamented that many Democrats with whom he'd worked on stronger national security policies were defeated in midterm elections. "The Gene Taylors of the world, the Jim Marshalls of the world, these are good Americans even if they have the disadvantage of being registered as Democrats," he quipped.

Marshall (D-Ga.) was a co-sponsor on the Protect the Homeland from North Korean and Iranian Ballistic Missiles Act.

The Security Council released a report last week that found North Korea to be in violation of sanctions by deceptively exporting weapons and missiles and being active in the nuclear activities of Iran, Syria and Myanmar.

"North Korea and the leaders in Tehran laugh at this president because of his offensible belief that he can dissuade them with kind words," Franks said.

Franks charged that if the European missile defense shield hadn't been frozen by Obama shortly after he took office, it would have been completed by late next year. "What he has done in the face of that is to dismantle probably the most important short-term element of persuasion," he said.

Obama scrapped the missile interceptors plan for Poland and the Czech Republic, which had soured relations with Russia, in favor of a "stronger, swifter and smarter" missile defense plan that would focus on short- and mid-range missiles from Iran instead of intercontinental nuclear missiles.

"Iran is working relentlessly to develop nuclear weapons," Franks said. "It's almost impossible to express the gravity of that concern for all of the human family."