Flynn calls for developing in effect a grand strategy to counter our enemies, organizing all of our resources and energies toward a battle across all fronts.
In the waning weeks of the Obama White House, we continue to bear the poisonous fruits of a progressive president whose primary achievement on the world stage has been to empower the West’s worst enemies while alienating its allies.
Consider the happenings of just the last few days:
- An alleged ISIS-linked jihadist shot up a nightclub in Turkey in the early hours of the new year;
- North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un pronounced that his nation was close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile; and
- China confirmed that for the first time it moved its sole aircraft carrier into the South China Sea, where it is testing weapons and equipment.
President Obama’s highest priorities have been to transfer still more Gitmo detainees back to the battlefield; slap cosmetic sanctions on a Russian regime (that has walked all over a cowed Obama administration during his tenure) as punishment for the first “election hack” in history in which no voting machines were tampered with; and push to delegitimize, damage and downgrade the only democracy in the Middle East through fostering an anti-Israel resolution at the inaptly named United Nations Security Council.
Our enemies’ actions — both symbolic and substantive — and Obama’s feckless-to-dangerous moves in his final hours illustrate just how dire America’s situation is at present and underscore the need for profound change under President-elect Trump.
To judge whether the Trump administration will be up to the immense challenge, it behooves us to look to the man who as national security advisor will have the president-elect’s ear on all manner of foreign policy and national security issues: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The critical media accounts of Flynn to date have done a grave injustice to a patriot, who has served America admirably for more than 30 years, as one of the world’s foremost jihad-hunters and a highly effective intelligence officer who rose to the highest seat in military intelligence as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Tellingly, most stories have focused on critical anecdotes and disparaging quotes from unnamed sources, Flynn’s supposed “angry” tone and tweets.
What the stories lack is a serious examination of Flynn’s vast public record — comprised of interviews, op-eds, congressional testimony, and intelligence assessments — let alone the book he co-authored in 2016, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”
By reviewing such materials, one gains a clear sense of Flynn’s guiding principles and beliefs, which have been either ignored or distorted by his critics.
There are several points the incoming national security advisor believes are imperative to defending our nation, including that we must:
- understand our enemies’ goals, tactics and strategies, and the ideology that animates them;
- define our enemies openly and honestly, free of political correctness — failure to speak the truth in plain language will render us hapless;
- root out politicization in matters of national security;
- use overwhelming force if we must engage in battle;
- complement military engagement with ideological and information warfare; and
- promote innovation, unconventional thinking and flat structures to counter bureaucratic inertia.
In Field of Fight, Flynn urges us to apply such principles to counter an unholy alliance of both secular and theocratic totalitarian regimes.
Who does Flynn identify as the tip of the spear of this alliance? Russia and Iran.
Here is what Flynn tells us about Russia in his book:
[W]hen it is said that Russia would make an ideal partner for fighting Radical Islam, it behooves us to remember that the Russians…are in cahoots with the Iranians. In Syria, the two allies have proudly proclaimed they are waging war against ISIS, but in reality the great bulk of their efforts are aimed at the opponents of the Assad regime. They are certainly not “fighting terrorists” in the Middle East; theirs is a battle to rescue an embattled ally in Damascus.
Although I believe America and Russia could find mutual ground fighting radical Islamists, there is no reason to believe Putin would welcome cooperation with us; quite the contrary, in fact.
In mid-January 2016, the Kremlin announced its intention to create new military bases on their western border, and to step up the readiness of their nuclear forces. These are not the actions of a country seeking détente with the West. They are, rather, indications that Putin fully intends to do the same thing as, and in tandem with, the Iranians: pursue the war against us. [Emphasis mine] (Flynn, 174-75)
Others have painted Flynn as some kind of conspiracy theorist, seeing Iran’s hand in almost every action in the Middle East. What they neglect is the mass of evidence indicating that indeed not only has the world’s leading sponsor of jihad been responsible for aiding, abetting, and enabling Shia jihadists from Iraq to Lebanon to Yemen, but also Sunni jihadists, including al-Qaeda and Hamas. Iran and its proxies have been responsible for killing America’s soldiers in the Middle East and materially supported those who have killed American civilians at home.
Flynn argues that the Islamists, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans and their various proxies are bound by their totalitarianism, and their desire to undermine America and our interests.
He quite perceptively notes that such non-state actors and regimes are not only intertwined ideologically, but also organizationally and tactically, noting the KGB’s decades-long influence on many Middle Eastern groups and regimes, and even the Nazi’s historic influence on jihadis beginning with the Hitler-allied Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.
Flynn speaks to the dangers of leftist tyranny and Sharia alike.
Few other leaders note the comprehensive linkages between such groups or speak openly about the detrimental nature of their related political and theopolitical ideologies.
Those who believe in a robust, clear-eyed, Kirkpatrickian defense of America’s national interest should be heartened that Flynn will be serving at President-elect Trump’s side.
Flynn calls for developing in effect a grand strategy to counter these enemies, organizing all of our resources and energies toward a battle across all fronts, including notably the ideological one.
Perhaps Flynn has in mind developing something like an NSC-68, the document that formed the basis of our strategy to win the Cold War.
With respect to the global jihad, he believes that while battlefield victories are essential, inducing in the enemy demoralization, fear and shame are imperative to winning. For in the Middle East, the strong horse is respected, and the jihadis’ claims about being on the side of Allah are belied by losses.
At his core, Flynn believes that the will to win, and ideology — both the defense of our freedoms and the encouraging of others to embrace them — are essential.
But unlike the denizens of our bipartisan foreign policy establishment, he also understands that illiberal countries cannot be made liberal overnight, nor be made liberal from without.
The best we can do in the interim is defeat those who threaten our way of life.