A Conversation with Michael Flynn
Democrats and mainstream media criticized Donald Trump’s acceptance speech as Doom and Gloom, but anyone looking at the recent events would call it reality. Within the last few weeks five police officers died in Dallas, three in Baton Rogue; there have been jihadist terrorist attacks with over 80 dead in Nice, France, including Americans, an axe attack by a migrant Afghan in Munich, and recently a terrorist attack at a mall in Munich leaving at least nine dead. If that is not doom and gloom, then what is?
The Field of Fight by Lt. General Michael Flynn delves into the world of ISIS. American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing him.
Having been at the Republican convention, the general told of his dismay at those who concentrated on Melania Trump’s speech while there are so many important matters occurring in today’s world. He noted to American Thinker, “This shows you how petty the media will go to discredit Donald Trump. Since I was the next speaker, as I waited in the wings, I heard a woman who spoke from the heart about her love for this country and her husband. With all the complexities, threats, and challenges that the U.S. faces, for the media to harp on that is just ridiculous.”
The Democrats and media criticism emphasized the importance of words spoken in a certain context. Yet, President Obama will never utter the words Islamic Extremist or Radical Islam. Flynn points out the hypocrisy, “The president should clearly and unambiguously define the enemy that we face and the threat to our way of life. It is radical Islam… ISIS is a very determined enemy who wants to establish a global Caliphate. This political correctness of not naming our enemy is dangerous for the country. I am confident Americans can take the truth.”
Political correctness has also interfered in the way the U.S. conducts the war against terrorism. According to Flynn, “Using drones is a narrow strategy. We have to be able to capture guys and learn from them by getting the intelligence we need. We are not capturing anyone any more. Beyond that, apprehending individuals allows us to expose them instead of turning them into a martyr after being killed. By doing this we can show how their ideology is a disease that must by excised. The information warfare component of battle must discredit them. We show them as cowards and weak.” Exposure does seem to work if people think of how imbedded in their memory are the pictures of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Saddam Hussein after their capture.
Flynn also debunks Democrats and some Republican pundits who say ISIS is being defeated. They point to the terrorist groups loss of land and that these recent attacks are acts of desperation. He strongly disagrees with “those people because that is actually false. We excised them from some village in Iraq like Fallujah, yet they are able to attack the international community in San Bernardino, Orlando, France, Germany, Bangladesh, and Turkey, all of these in recent months. The reason for this is that the enemy has doubled in size and grown in a global geographic footprint in the last six or so years.”
The blame lies squarely in the hands of the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton. In the book, Flynn gives high marks to President Bush while lambasting President Obama, “He (Bush) realized the war was going badly, that we were losing, and our entire strategy needed to change. The mere fact that he recognized this and proceeded to make the difficult decisions he eventually made is a leadership characteristic our current president lacks.”
Directly commenting, “There is no enemy that is unbeatable. Even though President Bush was at the end of his administration he brought in the fresh leadership of General David Petraeus and Robert Gates. We were able to reverse the strategy and come up with a new one to win. Now we are at the end of President Obama’s term; yet, when 99% of President Obama’s advisors told him to keep 10,000 troops in Iraq to stop the rise of radical terrorism; he did not listen. He made a political decision rather than a decision for our national security. This is a weakness in his leadership style. His problem is that he refuses to recognize this strategy is not working and the enemy has grown in capacity.”
One of the problems is that the current president wants to be surrounded by yes men. In the book Flynn reconts how he was fired in 2014 because he went before Congress and spoke of how to keep America safe. When asked about this, he responded, “I was appointed by President Obama twice, as Assistant Director of National Intelligence and the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. I never met with the president once; imagine that. Why not ask to speak with me about our differences of opinion and my suggestions? To me, this is very disturbing.”
He suspects he was fired because “our agency was very brutally honest about our findings. I am not, nor have I ever been the type of person that will state what the boss wants to hear. I am always very blunt and say what I feel, including offering solutions. I was fired partially due to my honesty about the enemy we are facing, radical Islam. In complete contrast to the president who called ISIS the JV team, I told Congress they were dangerous and growing. Intelligence is about truth to power.”
Although he outlines extensive solutions, he summarized it for American Thinker, “In order to beat this enemy we need to discredit the ideology. Muslims need to take a more public international stand. To do it they will have to be helped, prompted, and pushed by the U.S., something we are not doing now. We need to depend on Middle East allies like Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Finally, something that I have been criticized for is to get Russia involved. They should assume responsibility and pressure Iran to stop their proxy wars. As I show in the book the ties between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda have been a well-established fact.”
Since ISIS is a byproduct of al Qaeda does that mean Iran has ties to them as well? Flynn responded, “Dig deep down into the intelligence and you will find ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ There are these funny relationships that exist. We have clearly seen with Iran and al Qaeda that a Shiite state nation and a Sunni organization have worked together. They do this because at the end of the day they hate the U.S. more than they hate each other.”
Americans should take solace in knowing that Lt. General Flynn is one of Donald Trump’s top foreign policy advisors. Obviously, Mr. Trump is not surrounding himself with yes people, but those who would not sit quietly back if he believes a “president” Trump has the wrong strategy.
When asked if he will be the next secretary of defense, and what type of leader would he be, Flynn commented, “I am confident in what I know but also what I do not know. I am willing to listen and learn. I believe we should never get involved in wars unless we have a clear unambiguous goal to win. America has forgotten how to win wars. I am not answering the question of my employment right now. Republicans must win many more battles before the war is won.”
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.