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The White House has rejected former Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism that President Barack Obama is indecisive on Afghanistan.

In a speech in Washington late Wednesday, Cheney said President Obama appears "afraid" to make a decision regarding the war in Afghanistan.  Cheney said the White House "must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger."

At the White House Thursday, presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs said what Cheney calls "dithering," President Obama calls his sacred responsibility to the men and women in uniform.  Gibbs added it is safe to say the former vice president was not focused on Afghanistan for seven of the eight years he was vice president.

President Obama recently held a series of lengthy meetings with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He has made clear he will not be rushed into a decision as he reviews his Afghanistan war strategy.  

Cheney also disputed an assertion made earlier this week by the president's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.  Emanuel said that the former Bush administration's policy was "adrift" for eight years, and that the Obama administration had been forced to start from the beginning.

Cheney said Mr. Obama's strategy in Afghanistan, announced in March, bore a striking resemblance to a Bush administration review given to the Obama administration when it took office.

Cheney, who was vice president under President George W. Bush, also called President Obama's decision to abandon a Bush-era plan for a missile defense program in Europe a "strategic blunder and a breach of good faith."

The Obama administration says it plans to use a different system to defend against a possible missile threat from Iran. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP.