From Pine View Farm

Bush’s War: Origins Issue 1

Der Spiegel interviews Michael Flynn, former chief of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, on the origins of ISIS. Whether or not you agree with all of Flynn’s conclusions, it’s worth a read. Here’s snippet (boldface in the original):

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Islamic State wouldn’t be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad. Do you regret …

Flynn: … yes, absolutely …

SPIEGEL ONLINE: … the Iraq war?

Flynn: It was huge error. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.


1 comment

  1. George Smith

    November 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve been wanting to take an issue up and haven’t had time or, for some reason, the inclination to post it to my blog, but it’s the question of the capability of US military leadership.

    Here’s Michael Flynn, he’s 56, three years younger than me. The lantern jaw, the long years of experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, the head of military intelligence, and he’s recognized as an authority in the mainstream medai, someone of gravity. And I don’t find him accomplished at all because everything he’s worked on in a leading role, where earned his spurs, has turned to s—.

    An the larger issue is this: Despite having more money and stuff than the next largest ten miliaries in the world, combined, our generals and admirals just aren’t that good. They haven’t had to be good. They don’t get fired when they fail, when they create a global mess. Instead, the get consulted. Flynn admits the consequences of his work have resulted in a horrible mess but doesn’t once say it’s his fault. He makes an end run, a semantic dodge, in which he says we marched in the wrong strategic direction.

    I could go through his interview, point by point, and discuss how what he’s said doesn’t take much savvy, a good student of international news could tell you the same. Instead, a different tack. With December 7 coming up, we’re reminded that the US once did have competent, sometimes (but not often) great military leadership. They went up against two enemies that could and did hand them bloody setbacks and when there were men who lead too poorly, they were sacked.

    Our military leaders, the Michael Flynns, aren’t the same. And if we see them ever stumble into an extended war (as they have stumbled into so many other things) where the opposition isn’t an insurgent army with no air force, navy or armor and artillery, we should not be surprised when there are rude and very unpleasant shocks. This is one of the reasons why I think the President has been very reluctant to escalate in Syria. Pick a fight with Russia? There or in the Ukraine? See what happens.