Small Wars Journal

Mike Flynn and the “Howling Waste”

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Mike Flynn and the “Howling Waste”

G. Murphy Donovan

The other day, after another a big jihad kill on the Cote d’Azur, the French Prime Minister, lit a virtual firestorm by claiming that France will have to learn to “live with terrorism.”  Indeed, Manuel Walls, like Coco Channel in 1941, even invoked sang froid, the oil of aplomb, to calm the troubled watering holes of Nice.

Difficult as it is to defend Minister Wall’s appeasement, if not collaboration, what he said is not much different than the “long war” babble that has characterized the American jihad debate for decades now.

In short, a “long war” today is any conflict with an unnamed enemy; an ideology unexamined, a conflict not declared, an objective not defined, a cost and body count open-ended, and a duration never to be stipulated. One prescient flag officer characterized the last three decades of American strategic thinking about Muslim small wars as “a howling waste.”

The strategic void is not universal. There is a small coterie of senior soldiers who do have a clue, one of which may be Michael Flynn, a member Donald Trump’s kitchen cabinet or national security brain trust.

LTG Michael T. Flynn, USA Ret.

Flynn originally caught the spotlight as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency where he stepped on one of those political correctness landmines. Flynn believes the Islamist menace, as a priority, is more significant than the Russian, Chinese, or Korean threats.

Indeed, Flynn is one of the few professional intelligence officers to cut through the fog of Obama era apologetics and tighten the focus on the war we are fighting, not wars we might fight.

Beyond candor, Flynn, like Stanley McChrystal, probably stepped on another Obama era apologist too; John Kerry, Ash Carter, Jim Clapper, or John Brennan are the usual suspects. Stanley McChrystal, and then Flynn, were bounced from team Obama because they were two, of a very few, to suggest that the American national security crew, including a naïve president, didn’t have a clue about threat prioritization.

Here’s what Flynn understands that team Obama is loath to admit. Threat is a function of two conditions, capability and intentions. Withal, there are two subsets of national security threat, existential and budget.

An existential menace is an active threat; anything that shoots, explodes, or kills. Islamism, terror, Muslim small wars, and jihad are examples. An existential threat is any ideology, culture, or activity that inspires, kills, or draws real blood in real time.

The existential threat of Muslim jihad is crystal clear now by virtue of both declared intentions and barbaric deed. The Islamist kills for tactical effect and strategic purpose. Jihad strategy is, by any fair evaluation of the evidence, “death to America” – by a thousand cuts.

In contrast, budget threats are passive, capability threats; the often imaginary or frequently inflated threats posed by legacy or latent foes. Russia, China, and North Korea are examples.

Existential threats justify the need for immediate action; fiduciary threat assessments are the boilerplate for every DOD budget. Passive threats, like Russia, rationalize the larger military-industrial complex if you will.

Nuclear capability is often confused with existential threat, although nuclear weapons were only used twice and haven’t killed anyone since 1945.

Potential threats like Moscow and Beijing may serve as shell games, diversions, or strawmen too. With enough propaganda about Russian or Chinese antics, the hope is that no one will notice that DOD, the  White House, and America are being humiliated in real wars by Muslim priests, migrant malcontents, 5th columnists, semi-literate hash farmers, and hirsute goat wranglers in pickup trucks.

With Islamists, Shia and Sunni, Americans and Europeans are literally at risk, literally being killed. There’s nothing latent or imaginary about a bullet, truck bomb, exploding airliner, or a severed head.

Still, without Russian and Chinese bogymen, the DOD budget is in peril. Combat inside the Beltway these days, in practice, is about institutional and contractor funding, not necessarily better security or safety for Americans. You could do worse than think of Russian and Chinese phantasms as DOD budget Viagra.

Expanding NATO is just one example of feckless defense spending that does little to stop the spread of terror or win any Muslim small war.

The Russian bear and Chinese dragon, whilst not killing Americans, are made to roar and breathe fire in the hope that prols who pay the bills will not notice any severed heads in the Levant or Sharia rodents eating the Gates of Vienna or gnawing their way through civilization in places like Brussels, Paris, Nice, Orlando, San Bernardino, and Minnesota.

In short, unlike John Brennan at CIA and the fruit salad tacticians and Ken Doll strategists at the Pentagon, chaps like Mike Flynn seem willing to recognoze real-world ideological and real-world existential threats.

Flynn gets threat.

The erstwhile Army general argues that imperial Islam and barbaric Muslim jihadists fight under a religion hijacked by politics; again, clear and present dangers, indeed a global menace. Flynn, unlike John Brennan and David Patraeus, does not rationalize jihad either as “ritual cleansing,” minority crime, or “insurgency” with local motives.

For Flynn, Jihad is global problem; a struggle that requires a declared war, alliances other than a Russophobic EU or NATO, and a strategy more potent than apology and appeasement.

Not to put words in his mouth, but General Flynn is probably too polite to say that holding Muslim hands and kissing Arab ass is a piss-poor substitute for intelligent national strategy.

President George W. Bush and Saudi “Ally”

General Flynn seems not to be the guy who worries more about Muslim sensitivities than he does about American lives. Like Donald Trump, Flynn suggests that cooperation with Russia to defeat Islamism might be more prudent and economical than any Cold War remake.

Indeed, new strategy often requires new alliances. Alas, the EU or NATO may be too far gone by now to be effective in the ongoing clash of civilizations. Think of Brexit as an early dose of reality therapy.

Not surprisingly, Flynn was sacked by team Obama for candor. Truth is never a defense when national security is mired in the muck of political correctness. Flynn told Congress that America is not safer today and inferred that the books were being cooked on jihad and Islamism. Flynn is an echo of Stanley McChrystal who was sacked for mocking Joe Biden’s and Richard Holbrooke’s naiveté about the South Asia jihad.

Holbrooke, you may recall, was the State Department egomaniac who mistook the tribes of Afghanistan for the sectarians of Yugoslavia. Holbrooke thought he could jawbone semi-literate Taliban mullahs, anoint them at the baptismal font in Dayton.

It could be speculative at this point, but surely a Trump administration has plans for Mike Flynn. He may not be “in like Flynn,” but he could be the broom for an overdue clean sweep at the Intelligence Community.

Flynn is a pragmatic choice for several reasons beyond resume. He knows the deadwood. He knows where the bodies are buried. He knows the ass kissers and sycophants by name. Surely he has savored the flavor of cooked books. And most significantly, Mike Flynn seems to have the stones to actually speak truth to power for a change.

Truth in the national security community has been AWOL since Saudi Salafists took down the Twin Towers in New York. Guys like Flynn and McChrystal have the potential to resuscitate strategic candor.

If winning is ever to make a comeback, truth is necessary for victory to be sufficient.  The elites of Europe and America have lied to themselves and the electorate for too long about Islam. The chickens of Jihad now come home to roost at Christmas parties in California, gay bars in Orlando, the beaches of the Cote d’Azur, and airports everywhere.

Time and the “long war” are not the allies of the naive, the victim, or the timid apologists of Europe or America.

About the Author(s)

The author is a former USAF Intelligence officer, Vietnam veteran, a graduate of Iona College (BA), the University of Southern California (MS), the Defense Intelligence College, and the Air War College. He is a former Senior USAF Research Fellow at RAND Corporation, Santa Monica and the former Director of Research and Russian (nee Soviet) Studies, ACS Intelligence, HQ USAF, serving under General James Clapper. Colonel Donovan has served at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Central intelligence Agency.

Comments

An "existential threat" is that which threatens existence or survival. Nuclear weapons certainly qualify, and would even had they never been used at all. Reference to "Muslim jihad" as an existential threat seem ridiculously overblown. A problem, certainly; maybe even a threat. An existential threat? Not even close.

I see nothing here but babble, devoid of any suggestion of a practical alternative policy.

Outlaw 09

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 4:13pm

During Flynn's speech, an audience member just called for Hillary Clinton to be waterboarded.

Flynn: "The two biggest problems in this country are Hollywood and Washington." YES. New York misses the cut.

"neither General Flynn nor RT were willing to comment if he is a paid contributor to the network."

Trump stated this when Flynn was there

Trump says that Hillary Clinton should get an award from ISIS for founding the group.

Bill C.

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 2:00pm

In reply to by slapout9

My thinking is that our force structure would look much as it does today.

From our point of view (in the time of possibly just one more generation, if we don't screw it up again, everyone, everywhere, will, quite naturally, and quite normally, want to live their lives much as we do), what we are fighting today might be thought of as a delaying action.

This such delaying action becoming necessary because, post-the Old Cold War, we moved out much too fast, and much too far forward, re: our efforts to transform outlying states and societies more along modern western political, economic and social lines.

Such poorly thought out actions as (a) the immediate expansion of NATO under Clinton, (b) the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush Jr. (and our subsequent attempts to immediately transform these states and societies more along modern western lines) and (c) the "liberation" activities of Obama re: Libya, etc.; these being just three examples of our such "much too fast/much to far forward" overreach activities.

Thus, during this delaying action period, the key job is thought to be to simply do no further, and certainly no similar, harm; this, re: what we believe will be (would have been without the screw-ups), the normal course of history. (To wit: the -- voluntary -- over time -- transformation of outlying states and societies more along modern western political, economic and social lines.)

Bottom Line:

We are buying time for (a) the damage done by our recent screw-ups to hopefully fade away and for (b) the next generations of Rest of the World (those not tainted/traumatized like the current generations) to -- on their own -- decide that they wish to live their lives more as we do.

Slap: You are right I believe, however, to suggest that, should we take the alternative route (to wit: that of continuing to antagonize the Rest of the World via our actions) we simply may not be able to "pay" for such an alternative -- and much more adverse -- continuation of today's New/Reverse Cold "Long War."

Note: It may be useful to contrast Clinton, Bush Jr, and Obama's "overt" actions, noted above, with Bush Sr's lack of such action. Herein to remember that, with the cases of Tiananmen Square in China, and the revolts in Eastern Europe during Bush Sr's presidency, Bush Sr's reaction was to say and do nothing. Herein, Bush Sr (a) not wishing to upset the normal course of history that was already going our way and (b) not wishing to inspire people to revolt expecting American help that -- to any meaningful degree -- was never going to come?

(These such matters being discussed by Jeffrey Engel at the CSpan 3 program link provided here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?409150-1/rethinking-grand-strategy )

slapout9

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 8:25am

In reply to by Bill C.

BillC,
If all you say is correct what would our force structure look like and how would we pay for it. We have nowhere near the economic might we had during the first cold war.

First, let me suggest that, in the New/Reverse Cold War of today (the current long war), it is improper to think of the Rest of the World's resistance to the the U.S./the West's "expansion of westernism" efforts in terms of such resistance, to same, as is being offered by the Islamic extremists alone.

This, much as in the Old Cold War of yesterday (the previous long war), it would have been improper to think of the Rest of the World's resistance to the Soviets/the communists "expansion of communism" efforts, back then, in such limited terms. (To wit: only from the perspective of the "resistance to communist transformation" as was being offered by the Islamic Freedom Fighters.)

These such "long wars," thus, to be properly understood as:

a. The long-running effort of certain great nations [the Soviets/the communists back then; the U.S./the West today] to transform the Rest of the World more along these great nations's own unusual and unique -- and thus often alien and profane -- political, economic and social lines. And

b. The Rest of the World's resistance to such unwanted transformations.

Thus to suggest that, today, we make a grave error in suggesting that the New/Reverse Cold "long war" does not include, also, such "resistance to westernism" efforts and activities as those that (a) we see coming from such great nations as Russia, China and Iran and (b) via such vehicles as "hybrid warfare."

This, much as it would have been grave error to suggest that, in the Old Cold "long war" of yesterday, the great nations of the U.S./the West -- and the Islamic Freedom Fighters back then -- did not, at that time, find common cause. (Resistance to the expansion of communism; especially in one's own backyard/neck of the woods/sphere of influence.)

Bottom Line:

To truly understand today's new "long war," one must do so -- much as in the old "long war" of yesterday -- from the perspective of:

a. One group of "expansionist" great nations' (the Soviets/the communists back then; the U.S./the West today) seeking to transform the Rest of the World more along these "expansionist" great nations' unusual and unique (for example: "secular") political, economic and social lines. And

b. The Rest of the World's (to include both great nations and small, and both individuals and groups), common, "resistance to transformation" callings, saddle-up and -- individual or group --initiatives.

Note: From the New/Reverse Cold War information I have provided above, might one, now, be able to discern, and indeed explain, (a) who the "enemy" is (b) the ideology(ies) or common cause of same, (c) why the conflict is not declared, (d) why the objective is not defined, (e) why the cost and body count must remain "open-ended" and (f) why the duration, much as in the Old Cold War, cannot be stipulated?

TheCurmudgeon

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 8:59pm

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe, like Trump, Flynn is just a Russian loving anti-Semitic bigot

Meanwhile, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn—who was on Donald Trump’s vice-presidential short list and who spoke at the convention—has sparked controversy by re-tweeting an anti-Semitic message. On Sunday, he shared a tweet reading, "Cnn implicated. 'The USSR is to blame!' … Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore." The tweet was a reference to Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager claiming on CNN that Russia was behind the DNC email hack. Flynn deleted the tweet and apologized a few hours later.

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/25/headlines/lt_gen_flynn_retweets_a…

Somewhat telling that he still refers to Russia as the USSR.

TheCurmudgeon

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 8:39pm

So, the Air Force guy wants to tell the guys on the ground they have got it all wrong. An intel guy with no experience with the Iraqi or Afghani troops. He is playing politics for personal gain. When he has a strategy, that doesn't involve getting in bed with the Russians let me know. Till then, he has lost all credibility.

...oh yeah, and he backs Trump. Trump, the foreign policy wizard of our day. That alone speaks volumes about how much he cares about his own political aspirations and how little he cares about strategy.

Responding to Gen. Jack Keane saying American people’s confidence could erode in a non-partisan organization, Generals should not run for office, and we do not want leaders to look at the U.S. military as a partisan organization:

Flynn: I absolutely agree and I did that for the better part of 33 years and because of disagreements I am out. I understand that, and I think it does a disservice to the intellect of those that are serving in the military and it speaks to the American public as though they are a bunch of dummies… My purpose right now is I don’t see this country going in the right direction and I firmly believe that right now as it stands in this moment in history Donald Trump is absolutely the right leader to have going forward for this country to get us back on track that we need… I know Jack Keane and I know Marty Dempsey, but I disagree with them on this point completely.

https://radio.foxnews.com/2016/08/01/general-michael-flynn-sounds-off-o…

slapout9

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 8:29am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Outlaw,
I am all about "active measures" over at the SWC I have posted several videos about the subject. I understand your heartburn when people want answer direct questions about money,not a good sign at all. Great article link about active measures.

Outlaw 09

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 5:40am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Russian state newswire reporting on likelihood of voting fraud in US election, quoting Trump. https://twitter.com/tass_agency/status/760319234253676544

SO really who does Flynn and Trump work for these days?...surely not the US electorate...definitely though for Russian propaganda media outlets....

AND his campaign manager...who does he work and does he still work for them??

NYT: How Paul Manafort wielded power in Ukraine before advising Donald Trump
http://www.unian.info/world/1448287-nyt-how-paul-manafort-wielded-power…

Outlaw 09

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 5:34am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

slapout..BTW referencing Russian propaganda in support of the Republican candidate.....

Social media that I follow has identified one of the large Russian troll bot farms fully swinging into support of Trump...if you saw the Twitter accounts you would believe they are Americans...NOT....all Russian end users...

Interesting: the cited user is followed by the biggest RU bot farm Klyushin (followed him to check)
User account is @RedVote2016

Also took a look at a part of users who follow her. At least 45 users I automatically blocked for following Klyushin.

We have seen this same type of Russian troll bot activity in eastern Ukraine and now Syria....

Outlaw 09

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 4:17am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

slapout...this sentence disqualifies the author on the exact topic is he writing about here.

QUOTE:
G. Murphy Donovan

The other day, after another a big jihad kill on the Cote d’Azur, the French Prime Minister, lit a virtual firestorm by claiming that France will have to learn to “live with terrorism.” Indeed, Manuel Walls, like Coco Channel in 1941, even invoked sang froid, the oil of aplomb, to calm the troubled watering holes of Nice.
UNQUOTE

Actually the French PM hit the nail on the head...in reality the political terror underway in Europe as compared to that of the 60s through to the mid 80s is far less violent than anything IS has actually thrown at Europe....

Terror SMEs will tell you that when a violence cycle starts it takes about 20-25 years to work through the system and mellow out....as it did with the terror of the 60s thu the mid 80s...AND Europe learned to live with it.

Fighting any form of terror is strictly a police and security services fight....and therein lies the current problem....

Also what the author does not reflect on is this simple fact....there were far more North African French Muslims residing in French in the 60s as there are now currently in 2016 SO why did they not "raise up in arms" then but instead do it now.....??

Answer is simple...they all had jobs and were relatively integrated into the French society.

NOW they have no jobs and have been housed in the last 30 years in basically high rise Muslim ghettos....usually outside a major city with limited lines of communication into that city.

There is a solid French saying....you can be a French North African Muslim, have graduated from the best French law school with the highest grade ever scored in the history, BUT if you live in the wrong ZIP code you will never get hired....THERIN lies the French problem....NOT in IS....IS only exploits this problem BUT does not cause the problem....

Outlaw 09

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 4:04am

In reply to by slapout9

slapout....

I get serious heartburn when a general officer refuses to answer direct questions on how much he got from his speaking engagements from the main Russian propaganda media outlet Russia today.....why...I spent a number of years as an offensive CI investigator during the heated Cold War days of Berlin in the 70/80s and who had two ASA COLs TS/SCI clearances removed as they could not as well "explain their sudden financial abilities"......well above that range that a "normal COL" could/should explain.

Secondly, there needs to be a far more serious discussion around those Trump advisors who had and do still have extremely close ties to Russia via Ukrainian oligarchs.

REMEMBER Trump is now getting TS/SCI briefings on a daily basis...AND he cannot control his talking...

Thirdly, this is well worth reading.....

Latvian History @LatvianHistory
America, welcome to the war
http://www.politico.eu/article/america-welcome-to-the-war-russia-hack-d… … via @POLITICOEurope

Lastly....I really have serious heartburn when I hear Americans repeat statements and or slogans that dangerously bring them close to the term "neo Nazi" which BTW we have a strong drift in that direction since the 70s.

Regardless what politician and or party uses the terms, sayings, slogans and or statements....

The following is one of the most perfect examples of this neo Nazi thinking I have seen since the 70s in the US and explains why the current political discourse has gone total off the rails....and over the cliff....

QUOTE:
(Trump)“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” he told the crowd.

He did not elaborate but later repeated the charge on Monday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News, saying: “November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

Roger Stone, a long time confidante of Trump, amplified these concerns in an interview with a far right wing radio show.

Stone said: “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.”

Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.
UNQUOTE

Think seriously this statement completely through.

WHAT he means is that I the politician can go to a particular State and declare that I am leading in the polls for that particular moment in time and then come election day if I lose...THEN I can say "I was robbed".

This is the Hitler blame game of accusing Europe "of stabbing Germany in the back with Versailles...."

OLD German saying....

People love to follow a populist leader until that Populist Party is elected......

When a US politician declares his opponent to be "the devil" and or accuses the US democratic system of "rigging elections" or blaming Fire Chief's responsible for the safety of crowds as "rigging the system" or being Clinton supporters, or examples of "big government regulation" when he is simply doing his job...that politician has formerly left the rails of "democracy" and truly entered the realm of "being an outright demagogue".

BTW...watch the Trump delivery technique....he will "allude to something, hint towards something, insinuate something...THEN followed immediately by the "I am just being honest" OR " I heard" OR "I read somewhere"....never explaining exactly where he learned his information....

Russian propaganda works off of 6Ds.....Distort, Deflect, Dismiss, Distort ALL designed to create Doubt and Distrust......

NOW take the 6Ds and then read every statement Trump is making and then tell me just how many Ds he is using?

slapout9

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 1:29am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

I appreciate your response and you bring up good points,much to think about, but as you have pointed out yourself this situation is very connected to many people and organizations. Ignoring the opposing sides dubious family an friends and organization connections does not present the whole truth IMO. And in view of the fact that you and others have pointed out Flynn being on the short list for VP the larger context in which the article was presented is important. Continuing looking forward to yours and others response.

Outlaw 09

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 12:28am

In reply to by slapout9

This election is not about the "husband".

This article was not about Clinton.

This article was about a DIA Commander as DIA is military owned and run and which in the 70/80s would far out analyze anything the CIA had...but no more.

This article is about a DIA Commander who at one time held at least a TS/SCI and probably still does AND who full understands the impact of the "image" he created.

When a common GS type or a military type is denied a Secret because he or she had a few financial problems during say the 2008 massive recession...AND YET he refuses to state what he gets as "payments" from Russian Today.

That is the same Flynn the article talks about.

slapout9

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 4:14pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

I don't understand any of it. That's why I come to the Journal...to find out what is going on. So you support General Allen and his support of Clinton ? You do know Bill is a sexual predator? And Hillary has some shall we say some issues with the truth?

Outlaw 09

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 1:42pm

In reply to by slapout9

THEN you truly do not understand the connection between Wikileaks, the DNC FSB and SVR hacking, and Snowdon......nor that connection to the Russian info warfare being driven straight into the heart of the US elections...

Here is the core problem with Flynn's assessment with IS...he has never read the three top Syrian/IS ME SMEs....nor has he ever led troops in combat.

He virtualy lived off this released Iraq document to move up the intelligence ladder....

REMEMBER when he basicaly "self leaked" his own thesis he did BTW via SWJ..check it out...then once published he caught flack for not moving it up the chain as many of us attempted to do in 2004/2005/2006.

BUT it did move his career......

BUT then this hit this week that in my eyes greatly reduces anything he says anytime in the future......

QUOTE
Flynn: I Honestly Don't Know How John Allen Can Look At Himself In The Mirror And Support Hillary Clinton

BTW.....Flynn does not seem to know that Allen walked out of his Obama appointed Position as he had major differences over the Obama FP towards both Syria and IS.....

That takes personal courage to walk.....AND as a combat leader Allen is second to none....

AND Flynn....all he lead was the paper pushing Intel world...AND he failed badly on the reform that he stated he was going to do with DIA.......

BTW...highly suggest you follow this blog site-----
https://20committee.com/

QUOTE--probably one of the best in the former CT and NSA worlds currently commenting on the net.....

READ what he has to say about Flynn, Wikileaks, Snowdon and the Russian CI efforts inside the US currently.....and over the last years.....

QUOTE
The most interesting possibility is Mike Flynn, a retired army lieutenant general who’s been close to the Trump campaign from the start. His name has been frequently mentioned in the media as a potential running mate for Trump. Flynn is a far from conventional choice. In the first place, he was a career intelligence officer—not a combat arms guy—and his tenure as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency was cut short in 2014 when he was cashiered by President Obama.

General Flynn has worn his firing from DIA as a badge of honor, claiming the White House canned him because he demanded that the truth be told about the rise of Islamic State. In Flynn’s account, Obama refused to take jihadism generally and ISIS specifically very seriously, and the DIA director’s hardline on these issues led to his firing.

While it’s undeniably true that Obama’s take on jihadism and ISIS is far from reality-based, as I’ve explained many times, Flynn’s version of events is at best a half-truth. Some of it seems to be based on hurt feelings that the White House never took Flynn as seriously as he takes himself.

Yet Flynn’s dismissal from DIA had more to do with the general’s poor leadership style than anything about ISIS. Flynn had a fine army career, including a successful tour as the intelligence boss of our Joint Special Operations Command—the famously spooky JSOC—but he was simply promoted beyond his level of competence.

DIA has always been an also-ran in our Intelligence Community—a dumping ground where military careers go to die more often than prosper—but Flynn believed he could be the boss who turned DIA around to match CIA and NSA in the Washington spy game. Alas, he was wrong.

The civilian workforce at DIA is uninspired even by Beltway standards, and they objected when Flynn repeatedly threatened them with firing if they didn’t submit to his radical plans for the agency. It turned out Flynn was better at thinking about Big Ideas than actually implementing them, and his reform plans for DIA went essentially nowhere.

After two years under Flynn, DIA employees had enough and were in more-or-less open revolt. The final straw came with a bizarre presentation to the workforce by a staffer which encouraged women to not be “Plain Jane” and wear makeup at work: “No flats…Paint your nails…Brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.”

Although Flynn apologized to his agency, the damage was done. The White House had no choice but to move him out, along with his deputy—a rare move in the Department of Defense to cashier a whole leadership team.

It seems that Flynn remains furious at Obama for firing him, and that anger may be the driving force behind his cozy relationship with the Kremlin. General Flynn has frequently appeared on RT (formerly Russia Today), the Russian government’s news channel aimed at the outside world. RT is unadulterated Kremlin propaganda—not a normal news network—as evidenced by its showcasing avowed neo-Nazis and having its own Illuminati correspondent.

Since Flynn is a Cold War veteran and a career spy, he knows exactly what RT is—he has no excuses. Yet this has not deterred him from appearing there regularly. To top it off, last December he attended RT’s 10th anniversary gala in Moscow, including a photo op with President Vladimir Putin.

It’s safe to say Putin would have a word for any top retired Russian intelligence general who regularly appeared on official U.S. television and did a photo op with President Obama. It’s not a nice word, and that general would be well advised to avoid drinking tea.

To make matters worse, neither General Flynn nor RT were willing to comment if he is a paid contributor to the network. If a possible vice president is an actual paid employee of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, that seems like something the American people should know.

The last thing the Trump campaign needs is more senior staffers who are publicly cuddly with Moscow, so perhaps that’s why speculation about Flynn as veep has gotten quieter in the past couple days

UNQUOTE

slapout9

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 10:55am

You are the one that brought up Trump in your response, so I brought up Clinton. As for her so called solution I'll wait until the rest of Wiki leaks memos drops.

Outlaw 09

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 10:18am

In reply to by slapout9

The article was on Flynn not Clinton who since now is the center of this conversation...AT least she has the right and correct views on ending IS in Syria....question is ...is the US military/public ready to support "moderate Syrians" being supplied with US weapons to end both the Assad regime who is the major single largest supporter of IS and confront the second largest supporter of IS....the Russian AF who has not dropped more than 115 of their air strikes on IS...the rest on the FSA..AND bombed 18 hospitals in the last 14 days..who BTW are not IS the last time I checked.

1. More SOF advisors to the moderate Syrian fighting groups who have actually been fighting IS for over FIVE long years.
2. more weapons to the moderates
3. removing Assad....who released a large number of Is prisoners who were then sent to Iraq to kill Americans.....
4. end genocide and starvation tactics by Assad and Putin

BTW...check out what Flynn actually says about Russia being in Syria and his views of the Russians being in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.....

slapout9

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 9:26am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Squeaky clean compared to Clinton!

Outlaw 09

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 9:03am

We are talking about the same US General who is on the payroll of the Russian mainline propaganda media outlet Russia Today who still has refused to answer who paid for his three trips to Moscow and his 4Star hotel room for his speeches given for RT during a RT celebration and who has spoken highly of Putin and the NATO threat to Russia and stated he "understood" the Russian need for taking Crimea in an interview for the 100% owned Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik International.....and met with Putin a number of times for photo ops.....

We are talking about the same US General right???

AND we are talking about the same Russia that has actively supported IS and has actively allowed Russian jihadists to travel to Turkey and Syria by the hundreds/thousands....the same exact Russia right? AND is actively supporting Iranian aggression in Syria along with Hezbollah...that Russia????

BTW backed up by solid evidence from a number of ME/Syrian SMEs....

BTW being paid outside the US for consulting is considered by IRS to be "earned income" and must be declared YET since he cannot claim "foreign residence"...Flynn has repeatedly when asked about his earnings refused to answer any reporters questions on this topic just as has the Trump campaign manager Manafort for his consulting with the former Ukrainian corrupt dictator who fled with 2B USDs after Maidan.....WHO today it seems is still actively working for several Ukrainian oligarchs in Kyiv who have close ties to Moscow YET he also refuses to state how much he has earned and or is still earning...

YET Flynn held a TS/SCI and higher but apparently was never asked during his clearance interviews about his foreign travels nor his extra foreign pay check...

For all his articles on the failure of intelligence in Iraq and all his ideas for improving it....he never did succeed in changing a single iota in the intelligence community military or civilian.....nothing, nada, zero...fini....

The author should have researched far more than he did as there were a number of "lesser intel types" that had voiced the same exact same complaints already in 2004 YET were fully ignored by national because THEY did not have the rank......LONG before Flynn showed up in Baghdad.....

BTW McChrystal was sacked for talking in front of a Mother Jones reporter and making comments directed at the National Command Authority AND that no General will ever survive.....ask MacArthur......

Even the SF community did not back McChrystal...when his comments became public knowledge via MJ......

slapout9

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 5:27am

Another fantastic article by Donovan about a real General! Bring back winning and get rid of the Honey Boo Boo generals!