President Barack Obama’s former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency believes the United States is “losing the war” on and off the battlefield against Islamic State.
“The enemy has more than doubled in capacity and capability and geographical footprint around the world,” said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’ve lost the strategic initiative in this war. And the enemy has the strategic initiative.”
Flynn told TheDCNF that ISIS, which has slaughtered Iraqi and Syrian Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims, now has momentum as it deploys 30,000 troops in Iraq and Syria.
“They have a strategic depth right now to their battlefield. We don’t have that. And that’s something we have to regain,” he said.
Flynn is an active adviser on defense and national security issues to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Flynn, who was an early Trump backer, had been frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential running mate, as well as a strong candidate for appointment as secretary of defense.
His new book, co-authored with historian Michael Ledeen, was released this week and is titled, “The Field of Flight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”
Flynn said he wrote the book, “because I felt so strongly that we are losing. We’re in a war.” The war is being lost, in his view, because of political correctness “that our government doesn’t even allow us to talk about.”
The book may well provide an advance look at a Trump administration’s defense and national security policies.
Flynn and Ledeen call for the destruction of the “jihadi armies,” a digital and mass media campaign to discredit the radical ideology and mounting “a direct challenge to the regimes that support our enemies,” including North Korea, Iran, Russia and Cuba.
They condemn Obama’s heavy reliance on drone strikes and tactical successes on the battlefield, saying it “makes us feel good.”
But such successes are illusory because, Flynn told TheDCNF, “we think attacking in Fallujah and routing them again — for the third or fourth time now — that makes us feel good. Or we kill some guy in Yemen with a drone and we feel good about that.”
The ISIS plan encompasses the world stage, not just parts of Iraq and Syria. When it has battlefield setbacks, “they counterattack in Orlando, San Bernadino, Brussels, Istanbul, Paris and in Brussels,” he said.
Flynn has been an outspoken critic of Obama’s refusal to use the term “radical Islam” in describing ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups that target Americans and the country’s national interests around the globe. Defining the enemy is the essential first step in devising a strategy, Flynn said.
“The President says, ‘what difference does it make what you call the enemy.’ Are you kidding me? As an intelligence officer, I would never get away with that. I could never say, ‘well you know boss, I don’t label this enemy that we’re facing.’” Flynn was an intelligence officer for 33 years.
What is needed, Flynn told TheDCNF, is “an entirely new strategy, and intelligence must drive this. Good intelligence has to start with properly and clearly defining this enemy.” The new president has to use the term “radical Islam” within all military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“Within the government, within the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, you have practically eliminated any training or any use of the term ‘radical Islam.’ That’s what we’re facing,” he told TheDCNF.
Ledeen, in a separate interview with TheDCNF, said a new administration must also confront the “secular allies” of ISIS.
“It’s not just radical Islam. It’s radical Islam, plus their radical, secular allies North Korea, Russia, China, Cuba. So we’re fighting a global alliance which is coming after us,” said Ledeen. “We should stand up for our own values and waging political war against them as we did against the communism and fascism in the last century.”
Ledeen has studied the mass movements behind fascism and communism and now has turned his attention to radical Islam.
The world has to face the very politically incorrect fact that “Muslim civilization is a failure. There were more books translated into Spanish in the last year than into Arabic in the last thousand years. You’re dealing with a failed culture.”
The historian added that “all this ‘faux respect’ and politically-correct sensitivities toward radical Islam are wrong. It’s wrong factually. It’s wrong empirically. And the Muslims know this. It’s not as if it’s a secret.”
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