Why is Barack Obama now so obsessed about the constitutional right to participate in homosexual acts and shutdown coal production? Are those really the top priorities for this nation? While he is celebrating those “hot button” issues, Obama is running around Africa, taking his family on a sweet vacation at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, festering foreign policy issues remain front and center–Syria, the collapse of the Arab spring, heightened tensions with Russia and China, the revival of civil war in Iraq and the failure to secure Afghanistan.

The erosion of American power and influence in the Middle East is alarming and unprecedented. I have noted in prior pieces that the mess Obama confronts in the Middle East was not of his making. George W. Bush and his crowd sowed those seeds. They enabled Iran to become the dominant force in the region and unspooled the simmering civil war between Sunnis and Shias, which is slowly and inexorably spreading throughout the region. But the feckless response to the rise of radical Islam in Egypt and Tunisia and Libya is all on Obama. That was not the work of George W. Bush.

We now have the spectacle of the Obama Administration publicly inserting itself into the Syrian civil war. It is one thing to pursue a clandestine program to arm and train rebels. That approach preserved plausible deniability for the President. But to publicly announce a “secret” program to arm and train rebels, which Obama has done. That is crazy and incompetent. Such a naive policy puts us squarely on a collision course with Russia. That is a dangerous policy.

Obama’s missing-in-action Presidency poses a direct and significant threat to America’s national security. He needs to get his butt out of Africa, on the plane and get back in the Oval Office and start doing his job.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.