When Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was recently interviewed by Der Spiegel Magazine, he dropped some bombshells that contradict the Obama administration’s talking points. At the G-20 Summit in Turkey, President Obama insisted that his plan to cripple ISIS was working. Gen. Flynn disagrees.
One of the questions Der Spiegel reporters asked was “In recent weeks, Islamic State not only conducted the attacks in Paris, but also in Lebanon and against a Russian airplane over the Sinai Peninsula. What has caused the organization to shift its tactics and to now operate internationally?” Flynn responded by saying “When I first heard about the recent attacks in Paris, I was like, “Oh, my God, these guys are at it again, and we’re not paying attention.” The change that I think we need to be more aware of is that, in Europe, there is a leadership structure. And there’s likely a leader or a leadership structure in each country in Europe. The same is probably similar for the United States, but just not obvious yet.”
Hours before ISIS’s terrorist attacks on Paris, President Obama told George Stephanopoulos that ISIS was contained, which caused the administration to ‘explain’ that President Obama meant they weren’t gaining new ground geographically. That’s utterly meaningless in the scheme of things. The average person, whether they’re in Paris, France, or New York City only care about whether ISIS can carry out lethal terrorist attacks on their city.
It’s immaterial to people whether ISIS controls a 50-mile by 50-mile section of Iraq or whether they control all of Iraq and Syria. That’s irrelevant to their lives. According to Gen. Flynn’s interview, ISIS is growing increasingly lethal in a number of countries. Gen. Flynn said that ISIS is building a command-and-control leadership structure throughout the Middle East and in the United States.
In terms that matter to families, ISIS isn’t contained. They’re getting scarier by the week. That’s why people have little confidence in President Obama’s plan to defeat ISIS. It’s why a significant portion of the American electorate thinks that President Obama doesn’t have a strategy to defeat ISIS.
This is a frightening thought:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What would change if al-Baghdadi were killed?
Flynn: We used to say, “We’ll just keep killing the leaders, and the next guy up is not going to be as good.” That didn’t work out that way because al-Baghdadi is better than Zarqawi, and Zarqawi was actually better than bin Laden.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: So killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wouldn’t change much?
Flynn: Not at all. He could be dead today, you haven’t seen him lately. I would have much preferred to have captured bin Laden and Zarqawi because as soon as you kill them, you are actually doing them and their movement a favor by making them martyrs. Zarqawi was a vicious animal. I would have preferred to see him live in a cell for the rest of his life. Their logic is still hard to understand for us in the West.
The thought that killing the leader of ISIS would make for a day or a week of nice PR for President Obama but it wouldn’t hurt ISIS in a long-term way speaks to how advance ISIS is as opposed to how degraded the Obama administration say it is.
The truth is that President Obama’s successor in the White House will have a gigantic mess to clean up.