Ryan: Obama foreign policy ‘weak, indecisive’

Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday slammed President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHead of North Carolina's health department steps down Appeals court appears wary of Trump's suit to block documents from Jan. 6 committee Patent trolls kill startups, but the Biden administration has the power to help  MORE’s foreign policy, calling it “weak and indecisive” and damaging to U.S. credibility abroad.

“What I’ve seen is, in far too many cases, the president doesn’t back up his words with actions,” said Ryan in a wide-ranging speech at the Center for a New American Security’s annual conference in Washington.


“It’s not that he says one thing and does another. It’s that he doesn’t do enough,”said the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee.

“The instinct is to go for the bare minimum – just enough to show concern, but not enough to get results,” he continued. “And after five years, I think it’s worn down our credibility.”

In his speech, dubbed a “strategy for renewal,” Ryan rattled off a list of hotspots around the globe where he said the administration had failed to defend American interests.

Russia, China and “a gang of rogue states continue to disrupt international order,” he said, referring to Moscow’s moves against Ukraine and tensions in the South China Sea between Beijing and U.S. allies.

Ryan criticized Obama’s recent West Point speech where he announced all U.S. troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

“In other words, we’ve told our enemies: ‘Wait us out,’” he said.

“We should bring our troops home as soon as possible but not before we finish the job,” Ryan added.

He also assailed the administration for failing to secure a status of forces agreement with Iraq to maintain a U.S. military presence and said the U.S. had “missed lots of opportunities early on” to aid moderate Syrian rebel groups battling Bashar al-Assad.

Ryan rejected criticism that the GOP policies would entangle the U.S. in more wars abroad.

"American leadership doesn’t demand a more militarized foreign policy but a more creative one,” he said.

Ryan spelled out a number of national security steps the U.S. should take to boost its presence abroad, including refueling the U.S.S. George Washington aircraft carrier to maintain eleven carriers in the fleet, and developing new directed-energy weapons and advanced missile defense.

“These tools will help us maintain the qualitative advantage that has set us apart,” he told the conference. “We all will have to spend more on defense.”

Ryan also endorsed drone strikes to target terror suspects abroad and economic sanctions to punish rogue states.

But he cautioned that U.S. strength abroad also depended on the nation’s fiscal health, calling the national debt the greatest liability to national security.

“To our rivals, it’s leverage,” said Ryan. “It’s hard to trust a country that’s maxed out its credit cards and taken out a third mortgage.”