Lt. General Michael Flynn (USA, ret) joined me on the program today to discuss his upcoming new book The Field of Fight and the lack of focus on the war against radical Islam in campaign 2016:
HH: In the year 1980, I was a young editorial assistant to Richard Nixon, and he published a book to make sure that the campaign of 1980 featuring Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter would focus on national security. The book was called The Real War, and it did have that impact, especially when Ronald Reagan was photographed carrying it. I hope Donald Trump is photographed carrying a new book that will be coming out soon, The Field Of Fight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam And Its Allies. It will be published soon. It is authored by Lt. General Michael Flynn, along with Michael Ledeen. Lt. General Flynn spent 33 years in Army Intel. He worked closely with past guests on this show – Stanley McChrystal, General Petraeus. He’s also worked with Mike Mullen and director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. He knows firsthand the war that we are engaged in, and I bet you he is as distraught as I am that the campaign is not focused on these things. General Flynn, an honor to have you, good morning to you, welcome.
MF: Thanks so much for having me, Hugh. It really, really is an honor, and I really do appreciate all you’re doing for this country.
HH: Well, thank you, General. I’ve been reading over the weekend Daniel Silva’s novelization of ISIS called The Black Widow. And I read Joby Warrick’s Black Flag book. He won the National Book Award. But I think The Field Of Fight is what’s really going to focus us on this. Are you as distraught as I am that the campaign is not looking at the cobra in our midst, which is jihadism?
MF: Yeah, well, I mean, I think we have a big problem, and I appreciate you talking about my book, The Field Of Fight. Really the purpose of the book is twofold. It’s one, to show that the type of war that’s being waged against us, it is in fact a world war at least through the eyes of the enemy that we are facing. And the second purpose is really how we can formulate a winning, truly a winning strategy, you know, because we can actually defeat this enemy. And I will tell you that I am livid at times, certainly highly irritated, because we are not talking about the real true national security issues that we do have on the plate that the next president is going to have to deal with. And frankly, you know, the individuals that are in the campaign on the Democratic side, you know, in Hillary Clinton’s case, she was part of the really lousy decisions that were made over the last nearly eight years. And we need fresh blood. We need fresh thinking, fresh ideas, and we need people who are honest with the American public going forward to defeat this enemy, who we are not allowed to call radical Islamists. I mean, in our government, we are just, literally, the government is not allowing us to actually call this enemy what they are, where under people like Ronald Reagan, under presidents like Ronald Reagan, we were actually calling out the communists. And thank God during World War II, we were able to call out the Nazis and the imperialists. Otherwise, we’d be praying at the altar of Adolf Hitler today had we not defeated them back only 75 years ago. So we are in a difficult spot. We have an enemy that is infiltrating inside of our country. We already know that the FBI director has already talked about all these different things that we’re doing in the various states of this country, and there’s just recently this reporting about more coming through our borders. And I could go on and on, Hugh, but we are, we have not defined this enemy the way they need to be defined. And we right now do not have a winning strategy, and that’s what The Field Of Fight is about.
HH: When The Field Of Fight publishes, we’re going to spend an entire hour on this, because I go back to the Rumsfeld snowflake. We need metrics. How do we beat this enemy? And Rumsfeld was trying to figure this out. And I sense almost a despair, General Flynn, that we don’t know. After Brussels, after Paris, after San Bernardino, and I assume it’s going to happen, sadly, again somewhere in the civilized world before the election. It will pivot the election again. But I don’t know that anyone believes it can be stopped now. It’s metastatic.
MF: Yeah, it can be stopped. And don’t, I don’t want any of your listeners to think that there is an enemy that exists on this planet that cannot be defeated. Trust me, these guys can be defeated. We’ve actually beaten them before. But when you achieve victory on the battlefield, and in warfare, you must sustain that victory. And we did not sustain that victory in 2011. I mean, we beat the snot out of these guys, Hugh, in the 2007, really, and leading up to 2011 time frame. We had a plan to sustain that victory, and we failed to sustain that victory. I mean, we defeated their version of their god, in this case, the radical Islamists. And we basically shut them down. But our current president made the decision to not sustain victory. You cannot, that is one of the biggest mistakes that a commander-in-chief can make. And in this case, he did not listen to his advisors, both political and military, who said this is wrong, we should not do this. And in fact, he did it because of his own ideology, his own political leanings, instead of what’s best for this country. So we can beat this enemy, and there are ways to do it.
HH: Now General Flynn, that concept of not sustaining victory, we did sustain victory over Germany and Japan. We did not sustain victory over the Soviet Union. And as a result, Putin is back and he owns part of Ukraine and part of Georgia. And we did not sustain victory over ISIS. And we’ve never even actually engaged Iran. And so now we have this multi-faceted war. The Field Of Fight, you know, it’ll explain itself when I read it. But what are the priorities? I mean, if you see Donald Trump give a speech today, what do you wish he was saying about this war right now?
MF: Yeah, I wish that he was, one, that he does need to continue to talk about winning, because I think the American public, and I know that inside the military, we feel like we are no longer just winning, we’re not able to win wars anymore. We are simply participating in this never-ending conflict. So he needs to continue to talk about winning, number one. The second thing is he needs to talk about this enemy and call them for what they are, which he has done very well. And he needs to have a couple of key points that he just needs to, I think, to hit on that send the message to not only the American public, but the enemy that we will fight you wherever you exist. And we will go after your message the way that you are trying to message us. I mean, they are infiltrating inside of our social media. They are infiltrating into our education system. They’re infiltrating into our society. I mean, just look at the mess that’s going on in Europe, and frankly, the United States is not that far behind. We just have to have a much larger population here that’s able to sustain and hide in a way, allow these guys to hide amongst our own population. So he does need to also talk about, I think, both tactical military actions that must occur, so there are some tactical military actions that must occur. And you know, if we know that there, for example, if we know that their headquarters exist in a place called Raqqa, Syria, we should eliminate, we should destroy Raqqa, Syria. We should create, you know, safety zones, flight zones, whatever, both ground and air. So those are tactical issues that we have to deal with. Strategically, though, we must counter this ideology, and we must call for the Arab world, just like President al-Sisi in Egypt did over a year ago now, we must call for the Arab world, the Muslim world, the wider Islamic world, that they must reform this religion. Otherwise, this religion is going to bite them in the rear end, and it’s going to cause the greater part of the Muslim world to actually collapse in on itself, which frankly, we cannot allow to happen. So there’s some tactical actions, there’s some strategic actions that one, a candidate Trump needs to talk about, and then eventually, hopefully a President Trump will talk about. And there’s some other elements within that, that need to occur as well. You know, there’s the entire economic system in the Middle East is in a desperate state. That’s not up for the United States to pay for. That’s up to them to pay for. But they must recognize that their economic system can’t be based on training people in madrassas. They have to re-instill a different type of education system. So that particular strategic issue is long term. But if these guys, if these leaders, quote unquote, these so-called Arab leaders don’t step up to the plate, and don’t, you know, foot the bill both intellectually and from a resource standpoint, we’re going to have a much bigger war that we’re going to have to have to deal with. And in all the other elements…
HH: General Flynn…
MF: Yeah, I’m sorry. Go ahead.
HH: We’ve got a minute and a half left.
HH: I’ve got to ask you this question.
HH: Do you believe that there will be any significant difference between Secretary Clinton as President Clinton and the passivity of President Obama in the face of this conflict?
MF: Absolutely not. I mean, she has a bunch of people that are around her that all came out of this administration, and they’re just waiting in the wings to come right back in. I mean, most of people don’t even know. She’s got a personal staff of like 900 people. I mean, these are all just sycophants just waiting to get back into our government to keep going in the direction that we’re going. Last, I’m going to just touch on Russia and Iran briefly. Both of these countries, I deal with in my book, because these are allies of radical Islamism, and most people don’t know how they are interacting with each other. So I just wanted to touch on that.
HH: We’ve got a minute left, so tell them that, General Flynn, and then we’ll come back after the book comes out.
MF: Absolutely. I really appreciate the opportunity, and the book comes out on the 12th of July. You can preorder it now online at Amazon, and I mean it. This is a really, this is an incredibly important, vital time for our country going forward in this century, and we have a lot at stake in this election. So people have to wake up, and I’m really happy to see the numbers that are going to the polls to vote for Donald Trump. And they need to continue.
HH: The Field Of Fight will be out in a few weeks. General Flynn will be back early and often talking about it. General Flynn, thanks for your service and for this book, which continues.
End of interview.