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Strategic Failure

How President Obama's Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America

A distinguished historian with over a decade inside the US Department of Defense shows how the downsizing of our armed forces lowers the nation’s defense and puts us at risk.

In this stunningly detailed account of US military power in the Obama era, Mark Moyar reveals how Obama’s military decisions have led to the international catastrophes of his second term. While our current downward spiral did not grab the attention of the American people until 2014, Moyar finds its roots in Obama’s first-term decisions to shrink the US military and replace large overseas military commitments with “light footprints.”

Obama’s preoccupation with his political self-interest has consistently trumped the national interest. Moyar documents how Obama has failed to deliver on his substitutes for military power. Cutting through the chaff of partisan bickering with penetrating analysis, he homes in on the events and personalities driving failures across the globe.

Moyar illustrates how Obama’s policies led to the rise of ISIS, and how conditions are primed for future cataclysms. He shows how the killing of the US ambassador at Benghazi was the result of a light-footprint approach in Libya, and reveals the problems stemming from our reliance on drone strikes. The ongoing military drawdown and international perceptions of Obama’s passivity have heightened the risks to America from her enemies.

Drawing upon the lessons of Obama’s presidency, Moyar concludes by identifying a better way for US national security in the twenty-first century. Strategic Failure is a timely and fascinating opening salvo in the looming 2016 showdown between Republican and Democratic presidential contenders.

Courtesy of the author

Mark Moyar, a distinguished historian and expert on US national security, has served as a consultant to the senior leadership of US Special Operations Command, US Central Command, and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. His previous books include A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq and Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954–1965. Visit

"The market for book-length critiques of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is saturated, but Mr. Moyar’s effort is distinguished by his measured tone, analytic sobriety and scholarly approach....[Mark Moyar] is one of our ablest strategic thinkers, and he has a gift for letting the facts speak for themselves—or rather, drop like hammer blows."

– The Wall Street Journal

"Thankfully for the current Republican presidential candidates...Mark Moyar’s new book provides a compendium of the national-security facts and a rational, if pointed, analysis of how those facts add up to a picture of American strategic decline...Moyar has a blueprint for them, if they want it."

– National Review

Strategic Failure is an extraordinary read for anyone who cares about the future of the United States of America. It depicts a near complete free fall of President Obama, who failed to rally the American people to win during a period of world history that may go down as one of the most complex, chaotic times in the last fifty years. Strategic Failure explains how and why it all has come to pass.”

– Lieutenant General Michael T. FLynn, USA (Ret.), former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Strategic Failure is an iron-clad indictment of the Obama national security policy. This book will serve as an invaluable resource for future generations of public servants, national security enthusiasts and concerned Americans.”

– Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America and FOX News contributor