3-Star Gen Mike Flynn bucks military correctness in Field of Fight
This year a humble general from Rhode Island stepped into the political fray with the unconventional GOP candidate Donald Trump. After 33 years in the Army, the former Defense Intelligence Agency boss left the military, wrote a book and made the GOP vice presidential short list. Retired three-star Army General Michael Flynn discusses the war in the Middle East and illustrates that there is a winning strategy.
His book the Field of Fight is already a New York Times bestseller and outlines what America needs to do in order to win the war against radical Islam.
Watch CW6 San Diego report on Flynn’s new book here.
“The best plan gives you the most options at the last possible minute. Right now we don’t have the best plan. A real strategic discussion about what it is that we are trying to achieve. Is it the defeat of radical Islam? It has to be beyond that and that’s where an alliance of nations has to get it together.”
General Flynn maintains America needs to invest in stability and not in conflict. One way to accomplish that is empowering women. “At least 50 percent of the population in that component of the world is untapped for intellectual horsepower, they can rise up and make those countries much better intellectually, economically, politically, from an educational standpoint, all those things.”
Once you embolden women in the Middle East there is an excellent opportunity to make real changes to the socio-economic and educational fabric. However, “their (Muslim leaders) belief system is such that once you are a piece of property, as a woman, you are bought, sold or traded,” Flynn said. “We’ve also found many of the jihadists are pedophiles. Military intelligence has found tons of pornography on confiscated computers. So they aren’t living a very ‘clean’ life.” It is this type of hypocrisy that America and its allies should use in reverse-propaganda against terror groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda.
“If you want to accept that in your country that’s fine, that’s what you do. But when you begin to export that way of life and force your way of life on our way of life, I have a problem with that.”
But ultimately Flynn says to win the battle against radical Islam we must destroy the jihadi armies, kill or capture their leaders, discredit their ideology, create a 21st-century alliance and must hold countries, like Saudi Arabia, accountable for supporting terrorism.
A statement repeated in Flynn’s book is defining the enemy. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “Islamofascism” as “a term equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century.
In 1978, Maxime Rodinson, an Islamic Marxist scholar, responded to French fervor for Khomeini’s Iranian revolution in a Le Monde article, arguing “that, in response to successive assaults by Crusaders, Mongols, Turks and Western Imperialism, Islamic countries had come to feel embattled, and the impoverished masses had come to think of their elites, linked to foreigners, as devoid of traditional piety (sound familiar?). Both nationalism and socialism imported from the West were recast in religious terms, in a process of political Islamicization which would be devoid of the progressive side of nationalism and revert to what he called ‘a type of archaic fascism’ characterized by policing the state to enforce a totalitarian moral and social order.”
Along those lines, Flynn directly tackles the Iranian “elephant” in the room. Despite the antagonism against and the West, the retired three-star points out fellow Iranian author, Amir Teheri’s advice to deal with radical Islam. He says, “No major power in recent history has gone out of its way as the US to help, respect, please, even appease Islam. Criticism of Islam’s ills now has a new taboo- ‘Islamaphobia,’ more prevalent than Islamaphobia is ‘Islamaphilia’ where political correctness worries if any criticism will ruffle Muslim feathers; and finally, many Muslims resent the kind of flattery that takes them for idiots at a time that Islam and Muslims badly need to be criticized.”
Flynn unapologetically says the country that promotes and supports the most terrorist activity in the world is Iran and that US leaders who use blinders when dealing with its mullahs are doing a huge disservice to the men and women who are serving overseas.
“Iran is at the heart of international terrorism and their attacks, often an alliance with another network, against the US and Western allies go beyond just the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran,” Flynn writes.
In fact, Iran has been, perhaps not so quietly, fighting US boots on the ground in the Middle East for the past 15 years.
But Flynn believes one of Obama’s greatest missed opportunities was the inability to side with Iran’s flirtation with their own Arab Spring. “The 2009 uprising in Iran where the people protesting in the streets seemingly were waiting for the US to back them is any way possible to shift the tide. Alas, to no avail, for those opposing their autocratic leaders.”
The regime has also provided the deadly IED devices that have maimed or killed thousands of US service members. This behavior garnered worldwide financial sanctions. According to the State Department, Iran remains on the state-sponsor of terrorism list because they sponsor Hezbollah, Hamas, as well as radical groups in Iraq and Syria.
Also, the US has accused Iran of bulk cash smuggling that is moving pallets of money to illicit actors, something the Wall Street Journal said the US did in January when they paid a secret $400 million “payment”(ransom) for US prisoners held in Iranian jails. If the deal were above board the Obama administration would have transferred the money lawfully through a bank-to-bank institution or used a third party country. Another alarming factor is where did the cash come from, black ops, the US Treasury?
Twittersphere went ballistic once the story broke.
But the administration chose to move pallets of cash using an unmarked plane to deliver the money to the Iranians. Critics say a more likely reason for the “secret” money transfer was an upset US electorate that was angry the Iran nuclear deal didn’t include the jailed US hostages. Although State Department spokesman John Kirby says, “As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home.”
Now that both political parties have formally nominated their presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the decision rests with the American voter as to who they believe will be the 45th president of the United States.
Clinton’s foreign policy legacy as Secretary of State rests on the fact she has the most airline miles of any sitting State Department Secretary—the Russian reset failed, Putin easily waltzed into Crimea; Libya is home to the disastrous Benghazi terror attack that claimed the first US ambassador’s death in 30 years and is operating as a failed state that harbors the fastest growing jihadi training camps in the region; Syria is now a former thriving secular nation that is undergoing a brutal civil war with 500,000 thousand dead and millions of displaced refugees from weapons the US provided to the Syrian Free Rebels (aka al-Qaeda). Clinton was given an Iraqi country that was relatively stable, but the administration failed to negotiate a status of forces agreement to keep the peace and gave birth to ISIS.
Clinton has relied on President Obama to make the case that she will make the best president. At the Democrat convention, Obama opined: “We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program… She’s worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. She has the judgment and the experience and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It’s not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out their leaders, taking back territory. And I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She will finish the job.”
Flynn couldn’t disagree more. “This is the woman that lied about an illegal private server she kept in her New York home. The information our enemies likely got from the classified emails is something that should land her in jail. If I had acted so recklessly, I’d be in jail. This alone should remove her from reaching the Oval Office.”
In Field of Fight, Flynn describes the world as he sees it. “We’re in a world war, but few Americans recognize it, and fewer still have any idea how to win. First, we need to show that war is being waged against us by our enemies this administration has forbidden us to describe—radical Islamists. Second, to lay out a winning strategy that is not passively relying on technology and drone attacks to do the job. Third, we could lose this war; in fact, right now we are losing. In the Field of Fight, we give a view on how to win.”
There are other ways to encourage countries it’s in their best interests to work with the West. Flynn says reciprocity works well, “if you want something from me, I need something from you.” Each Middle East country can bring something different to the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, but he emphasized they must bring something to the table.
One example Flynn used is the recent terror attack in Nice, France. “Every Middle Eastern nation leader should stand up and condemn the horrific attack that killed 84 innocent people.” Six Gulf nations put out a combined statement condemning the attack, but none offered any solution to stop the scourge that comes from Middle East radicals. “This isn’t enough to stop the onslaught of radical Islamic terrorism,” he said.
Other tactics America could use to defeat radical Islamic terrorism include reverse propaganda or counter messaging. “ISIS is very good at getting the message to recruits, they use magazines and visuals that glorify jihad, we need to combat that image with the realities and demonstrate we are winning. Nobody wants to join a losing team.” The strategy must also include a plan for the day after. “How do we solidify our win?”
Formulating a winning strategy is difficult but without a plan, the 15-year “war on terror” will never end. “We must bring direct challenges to the regimes that support our enemies, weakening them at a minimum, bringing them down whenever possible. It won’t be easy-they’re a formidable enemy—and it certainly won’t be fast… We’ve done it before, notably in the Second World War and then the Cold War against the messianic mass movements of the twentieth century, Nazism, Fascism, and Communism.”
It’s not a secret that General Flynn has been supportive of Mr. Trump’s efforts to be the 45th president of the United States, he was vetting for the vice president job. “I vote for leaders and I vote for America.” Asked if he wanted to serve for a Trump administration, Flynn used a standard reply; “You’ll have to ask the Trump campaign.” But when asked if he was qualified to be the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) or Secretary of the Department of the Defense (DoD), he unequivocally said, “Yes.”
If General Flynn does make it into a Trump administration, his book “The Field of Fight” could serve as the opening template for putting America on a winning path overseas.
Watch the entire unedited interview with General Flynn here.