Saturday, December 31, 2016

General Flynn's Book Offers Glimpses Of Priorities For The Incoming Trump Administration

Daniel Runde,

uncaptioned image from article
General Michael Flynn and Dr. Michael Ledeen recently published a book, Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies. General Flynn, a former 3-Star General and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has a number of critics in the National Security community and the negative views of his critics impacted the reception of the book. He also has a number of admirers: his counsel was sought after by a number of 2016 GOP Presidential candidates. The book should be read carefully given his role as the incoming National Security Adviser to President-elect Trump.
General Flynn and Dr. Ledeen (who blogs at wrote the book for 2 reasons: 1) “to show the war being waged against us” and 2) “to lay out at winning strategy.” The ideas in this book fall well within a conservative internationalist tradition. The authors call for: a multi-decade Long War against terrorism, the use of all forms of national power including economic assistance and public diplomacy, confronting the “root causes” of terrorism, and working closely with partners and allies. ...
The authors remind us that the US vigorously sustained decades of ideological confrontation with Communism and Fascism and that our then adversaries also believe that they were historically destined to win. There were energetic (what we would now call) public diplomacy efforts and psychological warfare efforts to undermine and weaken the potency of these ideologies. “When most people talk about ‘war,’ they think of tanks …But at least as important, people need to recognize the strategic power of words and pictures….Ideas, and the words that express them, are very much a part of war, but we have deliberately deprived ourselves of using them.” Part of this war of ideas should (correctly) expose the connections among jihadists, drug dealers, money launderers and human traffickers to discredit the bad guys who purport to be “morally superior” to the West. ...

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