Obama under fire on national security

By Anna Fifield, Financial Times

Obama's Weakness is putting us at greater risk

Republicans have seized on the Christmas Day attempted terrorist attack as evidence that Democrats are weak on national security issues, as they seek to bolster their credentials ahead of next year’s Congressional elections.

As the Obama administration’s investigation into how a suspicious Nigerian man was able to carry explosives onto a US-bound aircraft gathers pace, a slew of Republicans have criticised everything from the president’s slow response to his plans to close the controversial Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

“Soft talk about engagement, closing Gitmo, these things are not going to appease the terrorists,” said Jim DeMint, a Republican senator from South Carolina.

“They’re going to keep coming after us, and we can’t have politics as usual in Washington, and I’m afraid that’s what we’ve got right now with airport security,” Mr DeMint told Fox News.

President Barack Obama on Monday made his first remarks on the attempted attack, vowing to track down “all who were involved” in its planning and use “every element in our power to disrupt and defeat violent extremists”.

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