Trump’s National Security Adviser: Also sacked by Obama, by George Friedman.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has appointed retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn likely will play a pivotal role in U.S. foreign policy. The center of gravity of his career was fighting in the Middle East, with multiple posts as an intelligence officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), from which he was effectively fired by President Barack Obama for objecting to how the wars in the Middle East were being fought and how intelligence was carried out.
This promises much better strategy than under Obama:
From Flynn’s perspective, wars in the region were deeply embedded in history, and particularly in the history of Islam. The forces the United States was fighting didn’t suddenly spring to life a few years ago. They were part of the deep structure of Islamic doctrine, and such conflicts were a recurring theme in Islamic history. Without understanding this, the U.S. could not succeed – and hadn’t succeeded.
He blamed two forces for this. One was the unwillingness of the Obama administration to recognize what the Taliban or Islamic State willingly acknowledged: their rootedness in Islam. But he also blamed U.S. intelligence. U.S. intelligence, both military and civilian, had focused warfighting on destroying al-Qaida, IS and the Taliban. U.S. intelligence methodology consisted of identifying senior leadership, using intelligence gathering to locate that leadership, and then killing them with airstrikes, drones or special operations units. The assumption was that eliminating the fighting entity would end the war, and eliminating the command structure would eliminate the fighting entity. Flynn objected to this by pointing out that over a decade, the enemy hadn’t collapsed, and in the long term, at the very least, maintained its strength.
Flynn argued that this was an unsophisticated strategy that suffered from any serious understanding of what motivated the groups. First, groups like al-Qaida and IS that arose historically drew their strength from moral values and communities that shared those values. If you destroy one organization, another will arise. If you destroy the leadership, other leaders will emerge.
Flynn’s point was that there was a dual problem. The first was that Obama’s refusal, whatever its origin, to recognize that the groups the U.S. was fighting did not spring out of nothingness or out of some marginal source vaguely connected to Islam. This was not a marginal group of malcontents but an integral part of Islam. He also felt that denying that was costing the U.S. casualties without hope of a victory. …
The U.S. was merely cutting fast-growing branches – the smaller ones – of a robust tree. If the U.S. did not get to the roots, the war could not be won. The U.S. was merely cutting fast-growing branches – the smaller ones – of a robust tree. If the U.S. did not get to the roots, the war could not be won.
Hallelujah! Some sense of strategy and the bigger picture. This appointment bodes well.
Obama’s refusal to face reality cost the US dearly when it came to was-fighting. All that PC has a price.