It should be no surprise to learn that American military members are not the biggest fans of President Obama. Author Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, current Virginia state representative, and founder of the Special Operations OPSEC (Operation Security) Fund, highlights a reason often glossed over in the mainstream media coverage. Namely, when it comes to national security, the Obama administration has more leaks than the Iraqi navy and this has put soldiers and Americans at risk.
Taylor and fellow ex-military members began the Special Operations OPSEC Fund in response to numerous leaks coming from the White House they felt were endangering military lives. Taylor knows what classified intelligence and secrecy means for the success of a mission and has the military credentials to back it up.
Trust Betrayed offers a compendium of the various politically motivated leaks that have spilled from one of the most media-adoring administrations in history. From Joe Biden revealing it was actually SEAL Team Six that took out Bin Laden, to Hollywood producers and directors gaining access to information and areas so secret their names cannot be revealed publicly, Taylor points out a dangerous pattern in the Obama administration.
Taylor then expands his range of criticism to broader national security concerns, particularly in the Middle East where he believes the Obama administration has a fundamental misunderstanding of Middle Eastern politics. In the chaos now ensuing in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, the administration has shown a willingness to subvert strategic interests for political gains. In our relationships with allies such as Israel and Egypt, Obama, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton have shown various betrayals of trust, resulting in greatly diminishing the American sphere of influence in the Middle East.
In some of the more interesting examples, Taylor uses personal experiences from his time as a contractor in Yemen to demonstrate the administration’s flawed approach.
“The most important lesson, by far, was that this is a culture that respects power and ruthlessly exploits weakness. This is a lesson our political leaders don’t seem to understand…”
It would have been helpful for Taylor to offer a bit more history as to why there are leaks, how they came to be a regular part of “politics” rather than isolated and criminal incidents, and to look at past leaks from previous administrations that may have had dire consequences. While the effects of the current administration’s leaks will not be known for some time, looking back into history would’ve provided more ammunition for his argument.
Taylor says his organization is not political and his book is ultimately about securing the safety of members of the armed forces. He and his group do not limit their criticisms only to one political party and Taylor offers quotes and evidence from both sides of the political aisle. In the end, Trust Betrayed is a look at an administration and a country sinking under the weight of political ambition and foreign policy missteps that have cost American lives, prestige and treasure.
Review written by Marc E. Fitch.
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