A few days ago I published a post regarding O’s request to Congress asking for authorization to put military on the ground in Iraq, and several of you guys commented on what his ROEs would be. You aren’t the only ones concerned about this and Flynn, who was nominated by O in 2012 to head the Defense Intelligence Agency, has a few words on the matter.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn spent the morning at a House Armed Services Committee, where he was asked about Obama’s request that Congress authorize the use of military force against the terrorist group. That request prohibits any “enduring” use of ground forces.
“When we give our military commanders a mission, we should allow them to execute that mission, and not overly constrain them with approved authorities, but then having to come back to the administration for permission,” Michael Flynn said. “Either we need to review those authorities and those permissions, or we need to change the commanders because we apparently don’t trust them to do the job that we’ve given them to do.”
“We have become so overly bureaucratic, in coming up through the system to get permission to basically do things that, frankly, colonels on the battlefield or captains at sea are very capable of doing,” he added.
Michael Flynn’s remarks are likely to embolden Republicans, many of whom have said they don’t want any limitations put on the military as it fights the Islamic State. Obama himself stressed that he wants to avoid another long ground war in the Middle East, but Michael Flynn and many others have said his request telegraphs to the terrorist group that the U.S. will only be involved in a limited way.
Michael Flynn offered his assessment of Obama’s request after a blistering five-minute set of opening remarks in which he said the Islamic State is a serious threat to U.S. interests, and that the U.S. must respond quickly and with violence.
“This enemy must be opposed. They must be killed,” he told the committee. “They must be destroyed, and the associated extremist form of the Islamic ideology must be defeated wherever it rears its ugly head.”
“There are some who counsel patience, arguing violent Islamists are not an existential threat and therefore can simply be managed as criminals. I respectfully and strongly disagree,” he added. Flynn also warned that the U.S. is “at war with violent and extreme Islamists, both Sunni and Shia, and we must accept and face this reality.”
Aside from criticizing Obama’s request to use the military, Flynn also agreed with other Republican members that the administration is going out of its way not to label the group as a radical Islamic threat, which he said makes no sense because the group calls itself the Islamic State. “It is a radical version of Islam, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “If the enemy is calling themselves that, why do we have such a difficult time?” Flynn was asked about President Obama’s effort to make an analogy between Islamic State violence and the violence seen in most cities. Flynn stressed the two aren’t comparable, and again indicated that the administration seems to have trouble even identifying the enemy.
“You cannot defeat an enemy that you cannot admit exists,” he said.
Even if Flynn had said those words directly to O, it’s doubtful he would agree to step back and let the commanders do their jobs. His know-it-all attitude and his reticence to attack his brethren prohibit that. We have a spoiled brat man-child for a leader who has tied the hands of our military.
Just once, it would be nice to see O listen to our military leaders, especially one he nominated.