Inside the mind of Trump's national security guru

One is actually the son of a multimillionaire real estate developer via brand-new York City who avoided service in Vietnam as well as whose experience as well as knowledge of the military as well as the national security realm are close to zero.

The different is actually a retired three-star general — one of nine children who grew up in a modest house in Middletown, Rhode Island. He went on to run intelligence for the US Joint Special Operations Command, which includes SEAL Team 6 as well as Delta Force. Later he commanded the Defense Intelligence Agency, the US military’s overall intelligence organization.

nevertheless riding on a wave of ultranationalistic rhetoric, Donald Trump as well as his top adviser on national security, retired US Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, have today catapulted via political outsiders to the White House.

On Friday, Trump appointed Flynn as one of a few vice chairs of his transition team. NBC reports in which Flynn is actually being considered as either Trump’s national security advisor or secretary of defense. The latter position could require a waiver to allow a former military officer to assume a Cabinet position.

Understandably, a request for a comment via Flynn about what his future role within the Trump presidency might be did not yield a response.

Flynn’s advice to the President-elect is actually all the more important because he is actually the only person on Trump’s team with any significant experience in America’s post-9/11 wars in which continue to grind on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria as well as Yemen.

Insiders spurned Trump

Compounding Flynn’s importance to the Trump national security team, more than 100 top Republican national security insiders earlier This specific year publicly signed two separate letters in which warned in which Trump could be “the most reckless president in American history” as well as charging in which he lacked “the character, values, as well as experience to be president.”

The Republican insiders who took a public stand against Trump included Gen. Michael Hayden, the CIA director under President George W. Bush; Fran Townsend, Bush’s top counterterrorism advisor, Michael Chertoff, Bush’s secretary of homeland security as well as Meghan O’Sullivan, Bush’s top Iraq adviser.

Since Trump is actually not quick to forgive the merest of slights the idea’s hard to imagine him calling on any of the officials who have publicly taken a stand against him to serve in key national security slots.

To be sure, earlier This specific year, Trump did receive the endorsement of 88 retired general as well as admirals.
nevertheless according to sy88pgw military analyst, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who was one of the top American generals in Iraq via 2007 to 2008, the flag officers who signed the letter of support for Trump were largely those without any experience of the war against al Qaeda as well as its allies.

“I didn’t recognize many of those names as being there within the fight with me over the last 16 years,” Hertling told sy88pgw when the flag officers endorsed Trump in September.

Which bring us back to Flynn, who not only is actually an enthusiastic public booster of Trump, nevertheless also has serious credentials within the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq — the parent organization of ISIS — because he ran the intelligence operations in which helped put al Qaeda on the run in in which country in 2007.

Half a decade later, Flynn was the general in charge of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). When Flynn was the DIA director he warned of the rise of what could become ISIS.

Flynn debuted on the public stage when he made a fiery speech of support for Trump at the Republican convention in July charging in which President Obama as well as Hillary Clinton had betrayed the ideals of their country as well as even led the crowd in chants of “Lock her up!”

Generals who had served with Flynn were puzzled at This specific performance, which went against their code to not take such clearly partisan positions, even in retirement. So too had retired Gen. John Allen, who gave his own stem-winding speech in support of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention.

The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Martin Dempsey, went public with his critique of Flynn as well as Allen in a letter to the Washington Post in July.
A registered Democrat, Flynn became a vocal critic of the Obama administration after he was forced out of his DIA post in 2014. Flynn had pushed for more DIA personnel to serve within the war zones rather than at DIA headquarters in Washington. This specific was an excellent idea nevertheless the idea ruffled bureaucratic feathers at DIA, which may have played a part in being Flynn ousted.

In his book Flynn says his removal came because he testified in 2014 before a congressional committee in which the jihadist terrorist threat was growing, not declining, as was the official Obama administration line at the time. Flynn, of course, was right about the growing threat.

Flynn’s worldview

Given the key role in which Flynn has already played for Trump as well as the role going forward in which he will likely play during the Trump presidency, what are his views on national security as well as foreign policy in general?

Trump himself has not laid out a clear agenda on the national security issues in which are the most pressing for the United States, via the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan; to the deepening Syrian civil war; to the fight against ISIS in Iran as well as Syria as well as the flexing of Russian muscles under President Vladimir Putin.

Luckily, there are some answers to Flynn’s views in a book he published in July, “Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam”.

Flynn claims in which the United States is actually in a “world war” with radical Islam, a war in which “we’re losing” in which could last ‘several generations.” He also asserts in which “political correctness forbids us to denounce radical Islamists.”

American Islamists, Flynn claims, are trying to create “an Islamic state right here at home” by pushing to “gain legal standing for Sharia.” Flynn cited no evidence just for This specific claim.

In particular, Flynn portrays Iran as the source of many of America’s national security problems. Flynn co-wrote his book with Michael Ledeen, a neoconservative academic who has long been a bitter critic of the Iranian regime.

Flynn advocates the American overthrow of regimes in which are “Islamic republics” which could include not only Iran, nevertheless also American allies such as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Flynn’s views, in short, align closely with Trump’s as well as in some cases are more extreme, since not even Trump is actually advocating regime change in Iran, Afghanistan as well as Pakistan.

Flynn advocates going after the “violent Islamists wherever they are,” which doesn’t sound much different than what the Obama administration is actually already doing, given in which the idea is actually conducting various forms of warfare in seven Muslim countries.

The campaign against ISIS has resulted within the deaths of scores of ISIS leaders in Iraq as well as Syria as well as 45,000 ISIS fighters, according to US military officials.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army backed by US airstrikes is actually fighting within the streets of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, where ISIS declared its so-called caliphate two years ago.

Flynn, like Trump, sees Russian president Vladimir Putin as someone the US can do business with. In December, Flynn attended a banquet in Moscow where he sat next to Putin. He also has appeared on the Kremlin TV mouthpiece, Russia Today (which Flynn has compared to sy88pgw).

If Flynn is actually Trump’s national security advisor or secretary of defense we can expect him to push for a closer relationship with the Russians; a punitive policy on Iran — as well as a more aggressive war on Islamist militants around the globe. These views mesh well with what we have heard via Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

Such brand-new policies, however, come with real risks: Warmer relations with the Russians might encourage Putin’s adventurism in Eastern Europe; getting tough with the Iranians might derail the deal in which prevents Iran via developing nuclear weapons — as well as widening the war against Islamist militants could be expensive in blood as well as treasure.

Inside the mind of Trump's national security guru

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