Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — being considered by Donald Trump as a possible running mate — says he was axed as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 because of his stand “on radical Islamism” and al Qaida’s expansion around the globe.
In a biting commentary for the New York Post which included excerpts from his bestseller “Fields of Flight” cowritten by Michael Ledeen, Flynn writes “the intel system was way too politicized.”
“I asked the DNI [Gen. James Clapper] if my leadership of the agency was in question and he said it was not; had it been, he said, they would have relieved me on the spot,” he writes.
“I knew then it had more to do with the stand I took on radical Islamism and the expansion of al Qaida and its associated movements. I felt the intel system was way too politicized, especially in the Defense Department.”
An unapologetic Flynn writes he’d been trying “to change the culture” of the agency “from one overly focused on Washington, D.C., to a culture that focused on our forward-based war fighters and commanders.”
“In the end, I was pissed but knew that I had maintained my integrity and was determined in the few months I had left to continue the changes I was instituting and to keep beating the drum about the vicious enemy we were facing (still are),” he writes.
“I would not change a lick how I operate. Our country has too much at stake.”
Flynn asserts the nation is in “a global war” comprised of “an enemy alliance” that stretches from North Korea to Cuba and Venezuela and “picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, al Qaida, the Taliban and Islamic State.”
Flynn writes only a designed “strategy to destroy this global enemy” will win, but decries the nation’s current approach to “timidly nibble around the edges of the battlefields from Africa to the Middle East, and act as if each fight, whether in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya or Afghanistan, can be peacefully resolved by diplomatic effort.”
“We’re not going to talk our way out of this war, nor can we escape its horrors,” he adds. “We have to destroy the enemy armies and combat enemy doctrines. Both are doable.”