Obama's Unbecoming Conduct

Barack Obama’s domestic policies have manifestly been disastrous for the United States, but in Conduct Unbecoming Robert “Buzz” Patterson makes the case that the President’s foreign and defense policies have been an even greater disaster.

Patterson is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who once served as President Bill Clinton’s chief military aide, carrying the “football,” the briefcase containing the nuclear codes being one of his duties.

Patterson became so horrified about Clinton’s disinterest in discharging his duties as Commander in Chief that, following his retirement from the Air Force, he wrote a book about his observations titled, Dereliction of Duty. Obama, Patterson believes, is worse.

“In only a year and a half,” he writes, “Barack Obama has not only reversed much of the successful accomplishments of his predecessor George W. Bush that have kept us safe, but he’s done it at lightning speed. In so doing, Obama is clearly placing the United States in an increasingly vulnerable and threatened condition.”

Patterson quotes Chinese military philosopher and strategist Sun Tzu’s observation “If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle,” and concludes “unfortunately that lack of knowledge is now official United States national security policy.”

He adds that the first rule of war is to know your enemy and observes, “It is clear that Barack Obama does not, or cannot bring home to identify the enemy he faces as American commander in chief.”

To buttress this conclusion Patterson reprints in its entirety the Obama Administration’s national security strategy—nearly 100 pages in length—and notes that “nowhere in this document are the words, “Islamic extremism,” “Islamic” or “jihad mentioned.” Our enemies, he notes, have no such aversions, “From the tunnels of Afghanistan to the United States Army post at Fort Hood in Texas” they proudly refer to themselves by terms such as “Soldiers of Allah” and “mujahid” (“Muslim Soldier”).

Patterson quotes Osama bin Laden as saying Muslim jihadist forces are prepared for a  “long war” and provides a lengthy “long-war timeline” that traces developments in this long war from the radical Islamist takeover of Iran in 1979 to Barack Obama’s statement in June of this year comparing the BP oil spill to the attacks on 9/11.

This appalling comparison is the last in a long and disturbing list of feckless or damaging statements, decisions or policies made by Obama’s Administration affecting national security.

Based on analysis provided by the National Center for Security Policy, Patterson lists dozens of Obama Administration mistakes in the area of foreign and defense policies. They run the gamut from the President’s kowtowing to the ruthless Iranian regime (and his passivity toward the millions of pro-freedom, anti-regime Iranian demonstrators), to the decision to close the terrorist holding facility at  Guantanamo Bay and the decision to try terrorists in civilian courts; from defense cutbacks to ruinous levels of domestic spending (a policy that none other than Hillary Clinton declared a menace to American security); from repeated apologies for American in speeches made around the world to hostility to our traditional allies.

To be fair it should be noted that Patterson does not give Obama credit for the things he has done right, such as his responsible draw-down of troops in Iraq, ramping up of drone attacks, the continuation of the rendition programs and the surge of troops in Afghanistan (although in Afghanistan, the President has undermined the positive impact of the surge by announcing a date-certain for the beginning of a troop withdrawal).

Patterson traces Obama’s radical background, lack of military experience, around the world apologies for America and ignorance (willful or not) about of the enemy we face and notes that we have given “the leadership of the free world to a man whose sole leadership experience is that of a ‘community organizer’ and whose ideological goals are apparently those of Saul Alinsky.”

Patterson lays out a powerful indictment of Obama’s national security policies, the adverse effects which are likely to be felt for years after President Obama leaves the White House.

Buzz Patterson’s book, Conduct Unbecoming: How Barack Obama is Destroying the Military and Endangering Our Security, may be purchased at