Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned against cutting too deeply at the Department of Defense Thursday, urging 2012 Republican presidential candidates not to lose sight of the global war on terror.
"The economy is so dominant as a political issue at this point, that's what everybody's focused on, but I'm also very concerned that we not lose sight of how important it is that we maintain our vigilance in the global war on terror," Cheney said at the Washington Ideas Forum.
"And that we do not do damage, permanent lasting damage to our national security capabilities as we go through this budget process," Cheney said.
Cheney suggested the government could reduce the deficit through cuts to benefit programs for older Americans, including Social Security and Medicare.
"You can't save enough out of the Defense Department to solve the debt problem," he said. "What's driving the debt are the entitlement programs, the fact that we haven't dealt with Social Security and Medicare on a long-term basis."
Cheney has not yet made an endorsement in the 2012 Republican presidential party but expects to support the nominee.
Cheney said President Obama is going to have "real trouble" in his bid for re-election.
"Somebody suggested to me the other day that President Obama may be the Jimmy Carter of the 21st century- that he's going to get one term and that he will leave under similar circumstances... with the economy in pretty rough shape," he said.
Cheney spoke at the Washington Ideas Forum with his daughter Liz, who co-authored his recently released book "In My Time."