Archive for the ‘James Mattis’ category

Pentagon Chief James Mattis: Iran, Russia Still Arming Afghan Taliban

September 29, 2017

Pentagon Chief James Mattis: Iran, Russia Still Arming Afghan Taliban, BreitbartEdwin Mora, September 29, 2017

Getty Images

The Trump plan to end the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan is “determined” to force the Taliban to the peace negotiation table, said Gen. Nicholson.

Moreover, Trump’s plan is expected to pressure Pakistan to no longer harbor terrorist groups fighting and killing Americans in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their ally the Haqqani Network, among others.

Unlike the failed policy of the previous administration, conditions on the ground will drive Trump’s strategy rather than arbitrary timelines.

In other words, the Trump administration has not set any timetables to draw down its forces, choosing to wait until it accomplishes its goals instead.

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Russia and U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism Iran continue to provide weapons and other military aid to Taliban jihadists in Afghanistan, reiterates United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, repeating accusations made by the United States armed forces.

During his first visit to Afghanistan since U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a new South Asia strategy last month, Secretary Mattis discussed the ongoing 16-year-old war in Afghanistan with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and American Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of U.S. and international troops in the conflict-ridden nation.

The Pentagon chief blasted Russia and Iran’s continued support to Taliban jihadists, echoing concerns previously expressed by U.S. officials, including Gen. Nicholson, who has also noted that Pakistan is assisting the terrorist group as well.

“Those two countries have suffered losses to terrorism, so I think it would be extremely unwise if they think they can somehow support terrorism in another country and not have it come back to haunt them,” declared Mattis, referring to Iran and Russia, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). 

Support from Russia and Iran is strengthening the Taliban and lending legitimacy to the jihadist organization, notes the newspaper, citing unnamed U.S. military officials.

“That’s a lot more dangerous right now than what they’re providing in terms of material,” a military official told the WSJ. 

Russia and Iran have conceded sharing information with the Taliban to fight their mutual enemy, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), but both countries deny providing military assistance to the group.

Afghanistan’s neighbor Iran, which the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently said “remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” has also dismissed accusations that it is providing sanctuary to the Taliban.

In December 2016, Gen. Nicholson told Pentagon reporters that the United States is concerned about the “malign influence of external actors” in Afghanistan, such as “Pakistan, Russia, and Iran,” noting that the countries are assisting the Taliban.

The general explained:

Russia has overtly lent legitimacy to the Taliban. And their narrative goes something like this: that the Taliban are the ones fighting Islamic State, not the [U.S.-backed] Afghan government… this public legitimacy that Russia lends to the Taliban is not based on fact, but it is used as a way to essentially undermine the Afghan government and the NATO effort and bolster the belligerents.

Soon after the top U.S. general made those remarks, Reuters learned from unnamed Taliban fighters that the jihadist group had maintained “significant contacts” with Russia since at least 2007, long before ISIS came into the scene.

An anonymous senior Taliban fighter told Reuters that the “sole purpose” of their cooperation with Russia is to push the U.S. military and their allies out of Afghanistan.

The Taliban alleges that Russia’s support is only “political.”

As part of President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, the United States has authorized the deployment of 3,000 additional American troops, bringing the total in Afghanistan to 14,000.

The Trump plan to end the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan is “determined” to force the Taliban to the peace negotiation table, said Gen. Nicholson.

Moreover, Trump’s plan is expected to pressure Pakistan to no longer harbor terrorist groups fighting and killing Americans in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their ally the Haqqani Network, among others.

Unlike the failed policy of the previous administration, conditions on the ground will drive Trump’s strategy rather than arbitrary timelines.

In other words, the Trump administration has not set any timetables to draw down its forces, choosing to wait until it accomplishes its goals instead.

Gen. Nicholson has welcomed the changes, recently telling reporters the Taliban leadership has “atomized” as a result, reveals the WSJ. 

“For years, they thought we were leaving,” he added, noting that new U.S. and NATO commitments have eliminated that notion.

Although the Taliban remains the most prominent terrorist group in Afghanistan, ISIS has strengthened its reach and influence in the country in recent months.

The Taliban contests or controls 45 percent of Afghanistan, reported the Long War Journal this week, echoing assessment by the U.S. military and the terrorist group itself.

Terrorists launched a rocket attack on the Kabul international airport soon after Mattis landed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, allegedly targeting the Pentagon chief.

The incident is a testament to the deteriorating security conditions Trump inherited from his predecessor.

Both the Taliban and its alleged rival ISIS have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mattis Holds EMERGENCY Press Conference on North Korea H-Bomb Test 9/3/17

September 3, 2017

Mattis Holds EMERGENCY Press Conference on North Korea H-Bomb Test 9/3/17 via YouTube

 

Mattis warns NKorea to stop before it is destroyed

August 10, 2017

Mattis warns NKorea to stop before it is destroyed, DEBKAfile, August 9, 2017

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned North Korea in the strongest terms Wednesday, Aug. 9 to stop any action that would lead to the “end of its regime” and the destruction of its people.

He said in a statement: “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

Mattis pointed out that the DPRK regime’s actions “will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.”Mattis added that while the State Department was making diplomatic efforts, the United States and its allies have the most “precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”

Tuesday, President Donald Trump warned:  “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Trump and his generals

June 22, 2017

Trump and his generals, Washington TimesVictor Davis Hanson, June 21, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

[T]he three generals are beholden to Mr. Trump for a historic opportunity to shape America’s security posture in ways impossible during the last half-century.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump must recognize that such generals lend credibility to his role as commander in chief and signal that he is wise enough to value merit over politics.

At least for now, it is a win-win-win solution for Mr. Trump, the generals — and the country.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Donald Trump earned respect from the Washington establishment for appointing three of the nation’s most accomplished generals to direct his national security policy: James Mattis (secretary of defense), H.R. McMaster (national security adviser) and John Kelly (secretary of homeland security).

In the first five months of the Trump administration, the three generals — along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO — have already recalibrated America’s defenses.

At home, illegal immigration is down by some 70 percent. Abroad, a new policy of principled realism seeks to re-establish deterrence through credible threats of retaliation. The generals are repairing old friendships with allies and neutrals while warning traditional enemies not to press their luck.

President Trump has turned over most of the details of military operations to his generals. According to his critics, Mr. Trump is improperly outsourcing to his generals both strategic decision-making and its tactical implementation.

But is Mr. Trump really doing that?

In his campaign, Mr. Trump vowed to avoid new ground wars while not losing those he inherited. He pledged to wipe out ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism without invading Middle Eastern countries to turn them into democracies.

Those are wide but nonetheless unmistakable parameters.

Within them, the U.S. military can drop a huge bomb on the Taliban, strike the chemical weapons depots of Syria’s Bashar Assad, or choose the sort of ships it will use to deter North Korean aggression — without Mr. Trump poring over a map, or hectoring Gen. Mattis or Gen. McMaster about what particular move is politically appropriate or might poll well.

Other presidents have done the same.

A wartime President Lincoln — up for re-election in 1864 — wanted the tottering Confederacy invaded and humiliated. But he had no idea that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman would interpret that vague wish as nearly destroying Atlanta, and then cutting his supply lines to march across Georgia to the sea at Savannah.

When Sherman pulled off the March to the Sea, Lincoln confessed that he had been wrongly skeptical of, totally surprised and utterly delighted with Sherman’s victories. He then left it to Sherman and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to plan the final campaign of the war.

Had Sherman lost his army in the wilds of Georgia, no doubt Lincoln would have relieved him, as he did so many of his other failed generals.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt demanded a cross-channel invasion of France by mid-1944. He did not worry much about how it was to be implemented.

The generals and admirals of his Joint Chiefs handled Roosevelt’s wish by delegating the job to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and his Anglo-American staff.

Had Eisenhower failed on the Normandy beaches, Roosevelt likely would have fired him and others.

Other critics complain that decorated heroes such as Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly should not stoop to work for a firebrand like Mr. Trump.

The very opposite is true.

Anti-New Dealers such as Republicans Henry Stimson and Frank Knox served in the Roosevelt administration to ensure national unity and expertise during World War II — in much the same manner that old George W. Bush hand Robert Gates stayed on as secretary of defense to advise foreign policy novice Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump entered office with no formal political or military experience. That does not mean his business skills and innate cunning are not critical in setting national security policy — only that he benefits from the wise counsel of veterans.

The patriotic duty for men the caliber of these three generals was to step forward and serve their commander in chief — and thereby ensure that the country would have proven professionals carrying out the president’s recalibrations.

Of course, there must be tensions between the Trump administration, its Democratic opponents and the largely apolitical Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly, who have enjoyed high commands under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Liberals want the generals to leak to the press and hint that Mr. Trump is a dunce whose blunders force wise men like themselves to clean up the mess.

Republicans prefer the three to get on board the Trump team and appoint only conservatives who will resonate administration values.

In truth, Mr. Trump and his generals share a quid pro quo relationship that so far has worked.

Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly must know that few other presidents would have taken the heat to entrust three military men to guide national security policy. And even if another president did, he might not empower them with anything like their president latitude.

In that regard, the three generals are beholden to Mr. Trump for a historic opportunity to shape America’s security posture in ways impossible during the last half-century.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump must recognize that such generals lend credibility to his role as commander in chief and signal that he is wise enough to value merit over politics.

At least for now, it is a win-win-win solution for Mr. Trump, the generals — and the country.

US Tomahawk cruise missiles for ISIS-Sinai HQ

April 18, 2017

US Tomahawk cruise missiles for ISIS-Sinai HQ, DEBKAfile, April 18, 2017

 

A final decision to go ahead with a US missile assault on central Sinai rests with Defense Secretary James Mattis. He is due to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday, April 19.

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The US Mediterranean fleet is moving into position ready for a decision to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles for a crushing assault on the Islamic State’s mountain strongholds in central Sinai, DEBKAfile’s military and counterterrorism sources report.

This would be the second American strike in a month against a Middle East target, after 59 cruise missiles destroyed one-fifth of the Syrian air force at the Shayrat air base on April 7 in response for Assad’s chemical attack on Syrian civilians.

The prospective American missile attack in Sinai would raise the war on ISIS in the Middle East to a new plane. It would have been discussed during the Egyptian President Abdul-Fatteh El-Sisi’s visit to the White House on April 3. He explained to his host, President Donald Trump, the immense difficulty of overcoming the Islamic State’s affiliate when its headquarters were dug into an interconnected web of tunnels and caves in the central Jabal (Mount) Halal of the peninsula. Nicknamed the “Tora Bora of Sinai,” approach roads to this mountain fastness are few and far between, in common with the Afghan cave network near the Pakistan border destroyed on April 13 by the biggest non-nuclear bomb, the GBU-43/B, in the American arsenal.

The last Egyptian assault on ISIS’ towering mountain stronghold took place on April 2, shortly before El-Sisi travelled to Washington. The Egyptian military announced that 31 terrorists had been killed and a number of caves holding arms and ammunition destroyed.

But the damage was not devastating enough to disrupt the Islamist terrorists’ operations, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Most of the terrorists escaped with the help of allied Bedouin tribesmen who, familiar with every nook and cranny in the desert peninsula, guided them to safety in new caves in Jabal Halal that were even more inaccessible to Egyptian troops.

Their new headquarters can only be destroyed by cruise missiles capable of exploding underground.

The Egyptians and Americans believe that if the Jabal Halal cave system sheltering the ISIS-Sinai core command center is destroyed, its long campaign of terror will be curtailed. The flow of terrorist manpower, arms and explosives from the mountain to the networks which terrorize the population and Egyptian forces of northern Sinai will dry up.

Jabal Halal is also the hub of the ISIS smuggling networks, through which fighters and arms are moved from southern Libya into Sinai and Egypt. Knocking it out will also deliver a resounding blow to that traffic.

A final decision to go ahead with a US missile assault on central Sinai rests with Defense Secretary James Mattis. He is due to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday, April 19.

US-Gulf Front Proposed to Eliminate ISIS, and End Iran’s Influence

March 2, 2017

US-Gulf Front Proposed to Eliminate ISIS, and End Iran’s Influence, Iran News Update, March 2, 2016

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An idea has about how to fight the war against ISIS that isn’t limited to additionally weaponry or forces in Raqqa and Mosul, but rather, forming a [group] that will ferociously fight ISIS, on the condition that areas liberated from ISIS will not [be] occupied by Iran or by militias affiliated with Iran.

In exchange for a contribution in the war against ISIS, whether in Iraq or Syria, Iran must not be inside these areas. This must be made clear to the Iraqi government. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, stated that the US will continue to support Iraq even after it’s liberated from ISIS, but all agree, there must be an end to the Iranian expansion in Arab capitals. A united front not only insists on the exit of Iranian forces from Iraq and Syria, but that also desires the end of Iranian influence. The message was conveyed by  Gulf countries and the US.

The next phase will be the establishment of a US-Gulf front.

According to an article by Sawsan al-Shaer for Al Arabiya, “If Iraq wants Gulf countries to support its security and stability by cooperating with the US, it must act to address the security chaos caused by Iranian militias on its land.”

A major goal is the exit of foreign forces and militias supported by Iran from Syria and Iraq. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, said in an interview with the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries announced they’re willing to participate with special troops alongside the US. Some countries from the Islamic Alliance to fight terrorism and extremism are also ready to send troops. We will coordinate with the US to know what the plan is and what is necessary to execute it.”

Additionally, US President Donald Trump ordered Mattis to draw up a plan within 30 days to combat ISIS. According to the German daily’s interview with Jubeir, he expects these plans to be proposed soon. “The major idea is to liberate areas from ISIS and to also guarantee that these areas do not fall in the hands of Hezbollah, Iran or the (Syrian) regime,” Jubeir said.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, said on January 4, that the Syrian regime must go back to the negotiating table and deal directly with the opposition to achieve peaceful political transition in Syria. “We must send a strong message in which we demand that all foreign militias exit Syrian territories immediately,” he said, and emphasized the importance of the withdrawal of all militias from Syria in the end of 2016 after what was known as the Russian-Iranian-Turkish document was announced. This document led to calling for the Astana conference in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, talk is already begun about the post-ISIS phase in Iraq. In early January, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rushed to visit Iran, and met with Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s international affairs advisor. On January 4, Al-Arabiya.net reported that according to the Mehr news agency, Maliki said he went to Iran to meet with Khamenei to discuss what he called “possible threats post-ISIS.”

Al-Arabiya’s report added: “This is a new political term in international and regional politics especially that the war against ISIS has not ended yet in Iraq and Syria. The point of Maliki’s statements that he went to Iran to discuss possible threats post-ISIS with Iranian officials are unclear as the extremist organization is not present among the Iranians and ISIS does not have any announced military activity in Iran.”

Mattis requesting Iraqi interpreters, pilots be exempted from Trump’s travel ban

January 30, 2017

Mattis requesting Iraqi interpreters, pilots be exempted from Trump’s travel ban, Washington ExaminerJamie McIntyre, January 30, 2017

secdefDefense Secretary Jim Mattis has requested some broad categories of Iraqis be exempted from President Trump’s 90-day travel ban. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has requested some broad categories of Iraqis be exempted from President Trump‘s 90-day travel ban, a Pentagon official tells the Washington Examiner.

The categories would include interpreters who risked their lives alongside U.S. troops in Iraq, as well as Iraqi pilots who have been traveling to the United States to learn to fly F-16s.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the list of categories has not been finalized, said the exemption would not require any changes to the president’s memo ordering a travel ban from seven majority-Muslim countries, but rather would be in the form of implementing guidance to the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.

The travel ban’s effect on Iraqi citizens drew particularly sharp criticism from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL,” Sen. John McCain said. “But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies.”

Rep. Seth Moulton, a former Marine officer who worked to get his interpreter asylum in the U.S., lashed out in an appearance on ABC on Sunday.

“You know, I worked for Gen. Mattis. I know him. There is no way in hell that he is supportive of this. He relied on translators for his life, just like I did,” Moulton said.

One of the first people detained after the travel ban was enacted was Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who worked as an interpreter for the U.S military for 10 years. He was released Saturday afternoon.

Senate panel approves Mattis to be next defense secretary

January 18, 2017

Senate panel approves Mattis to be next defense secretary, Washington ExaminerJacqueline Klimas, January 18, 2017

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday cleared one of the final hurdles for retired Gen. James Mattis to become defense secretary shortly after President-elect Trump takes office.

The committee voted 26-1 that the full Senate should approve the nomination once it’s received, meaning it will not have to be referred to the committee and can be approved by the full Senate as soon as the next president sends it to Capitol Hill, according to a committee press release.

There is precedent for the committee to act on a prospective nomination from someone who is not yet in office. The committee took a similar action to help speed approval of Donald Rumsfeld to be defense secretary on Jan. 19, 2001, one day before the inauguration of former President George W. Bush.

The committee and full Senate passed the waiver last week that will allow Mattis to serve as defense secretary so soon after leaving the Marine Corps. Current law requires someone to be out of uniform for seven years before serving as defense secretary, but Mattis just left the service in 2013.

Our World: Michael Flynn and what he means for Trump’s foreign policy

December 5, 2016

Our World: Michael Flynn and what he means for Trump’s foreign policy, Jerusalem PostCaroline B. Glick, December 5, 2016

(Please see also, Mosul offensive folds, waiting now for Trump. — DM)

flynnRetired U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn in 2014. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Mattis argued that Iran’s nuclear program was far from the only threat Iran constituted to the US and its allies. By empowering Iran through the nuclear deal, Obama was enabling Iran’s rise as a hegemonic power throughout the region.

With Mattis and Flynn at his side, Trump intends to bring down the Iranian regime as a first step toward securing an unconditional victory in the war against radical Islam.

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In the US and around the world, people are anxiously awaiting US President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement of his choice to serve as secretary of state. There is no doubt that Trump’s choice for the position will tell us a great deal about the direction his foreign policy is likely to take.

But the fact is that we already have sufficient information to understand what his greatest focus will be.

Trump’s announcement last week that he has selected Marine General James Mattis to serve as his defense secretary is a key piece of the puzzle.

Mattis has a sterling reputation as a brilliant strategist and a sober-minded leader. His appointment has garnered plaudits across the ideological spectrum.

In 2013, US President Barack Obama summarily removed Mattis from his command as head of the US Military’s Central Command. According to media reports, Mattis was fired due to his opposition to Obama’s strategy of embracing Iran, first and foremost through his nuclear diplomacy. Mattis argued that Iran’s nuclear program was far from the only threat Iran constituted to the US and its allies. By empowering Iran through the nuclear deal, Obama was enabling Iran’s rise as a hegemonic power throughout the region.

Mattis’s dim view of Iran is shared by Trump’s choice to serve as his national security adviser. Lt. General Michael Flynn’s appointment has been met with far less enthusiasm among Washington’s foreign policy elites.

Tom Ricks of The New York Times, for instance, attacked Flynn as “erratic” in an article Saturday where he praised Mattis.

It is difficult to understand the basis for Ricks’ criticism. Flynn is considered the most talented intelligence officer of his generation. Like Mattis, Obama promoted Flynn only to fire him over disagreements regarding Obama’s strategy of embracing Iran and pretending away the war that radical Islamists are waging against the US and across the globe.

Flynn served under Obama as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was fired in 2014 for his refusal to toe the administration’s mendacious lines that radical Islam is not the doctrine informing and inspiring the enemy, and that al-Qaida and its fellows are losing their war.

What Obama and his advisers didn’t want to hear about the US’s enemies and about how best to defeat them Flynn shared with the public in his recently published book Field of Fight, which he coauthored with Michael Ledeen, who served in various national security positions during the Reagan administration.

Flynn’s book is a breath of fresh air in the acrid intellectual environment that Washington has become during the Obama administration. Writing it in this intellectually corrupt atmosphere was an act of intellectual courage.

In Field of Fight, Flynn disposes of the political correctness that has dictated the policy discourse in Washington throughout the Bush and Obama administrations. He forthrightly identifies the enemy that the US is facing as “radical Islam,” and provides a detailed, learned description of its totalitarian ideology and supremacist goals. Noting that no strategy based on denying the truth about the enemy can lead to victory, Flynn explains how his understanding of the enemy’s doctrine and modes of operation enabled him to formulate strategies for winning the ground wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

And win them he did. As he explains in his book, Flynn oversaw the transformation of the US’s strategies for fighting in both theaters from strategies based on top-down decapitation of the enemy’s leadership to a groundup destruction of the terrorist networks.

Flynn’s strategy, which worked in both countries, was based on the premise that it wasn’t enough to kill “high value” targets. The US needed to develop a granular understanding of the terrorist networks from the village level up the line. Only by taking out the local terrorist leaders would the US be able to destroy the ability of the likes of al-Qaida, the Iranian-controlled Shi’ite militias and the Taliban to quickly mobilize new forces and reignite fighting shortly after every successful US operation.

Flynn’s book contributes three essential insights to the discussion of the global jihad. First, he explains that the Bush and Obama administrations were both unable to translate military victories on the ground into strategic victories because they both refused to join their military war with a war of ideas.

The purpose of a war of ideas is to discredit the cause for which the enemy fights. Without such a war, on the one hand the American people sour on the war because they don’t understand why it is important to win. On the other hand, without a war of ideas directed specifically at the Islamic world, Muslims worldwide have continued to be susceptible to recruitment by the likes of ISIS and al-Qaida.

As Flynn notes, the popularity of radical Islam has skyrocketed during the Obama years. Whereas in 2011 there were 20,000 foreign recruits fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, by 2015, the number had risen to 35,000.

Flynn’s second contribution is his forthright discussion of the central role the Iranian regime plays in the global jihad. Flynn chronicles not only Iran’s leadership of the war against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. He shows that their cooperation is global and predates 9/11 by several years.

Flynn recalls for instance that in 1996 British troops confiscated an al-Qaida training manual written by Iranian intelligence in a terrorist training facility in Bosnia. Six Iranian “diplomats” were arrested at the scene.

Flynn is unflinching in his criticism of the Obama administration’s moves to develop an alliance with Iran. And he is almost equally critical of George W. Bush’s war against terror.

For instance, Flynn argues, “It was a huge strategic mistake for the United States to invade Iraq militarily.”

Iran, he said was the main culprit in 2001 and remains the main enemy today.

“If, as we claimed, our basic mission after 9/11 was the defeat of the terrorists and their state sponsors then our primary target should have been Tehran, not Baghdad, and that method should have been political – support of the internal Iranian opposition.”

Flynn’s final major contribution to the intellectual discourse regarding the war is his blunt identification of the members of the enemy axis. Flynn states that the radical Islamic terrorist armies operate in cooperation with and at the pleasure of a state alliance dominated by Russia and Iran and joined by North Korea, Venezuela and other rogue regimes. Flynn’s frank discussion of Russia’s pivotal role in the alliance exposes the widely touted claims that he is somehow pro-Russian as utter nonsense.

In Flynn’s view, while Russia is Iran’s primary partner in its war for global domination, it should not be the primary focus of US efforts. Iran should be the focus.

In his words, the best place to unravel the enemy alliance is at its “weakest point,” which, he argues, is Iran.

Flynn explains that the basic and endemic weakness of the Iranian regime owes to the fact that the Iranian people hate it. To defeat the regime, Flynn recommends a strategy of political war and subversion that empowers the Iranian people to overthrow the regime as they sought to do in the 2009 Green Revolution. Flynn makes the case that the Green Revolution failed in large part because the Obama administration refused to stand with the Iranian people.

Flynn is both an experienced commander and an innovative, critical, strategic thinker. As his book makes clear, while flamboyant and blunt he is not at all erratic. He is far-sighted and determined, and locked on his target: Iran.

Whoever Trump selects as secretary of state, his appointment of Mattis on the one hand and Flynn on the other exposes his hand. Trump is interested in ending the war that the forces of radical Islam started with the US not on September 11, 2001, but on November 4, 1979, with the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran.

With Mattis and Flynn at his side, Trump intends to bring down the Iranian regime as a first step toward securing an unconditional victory in the war against radical Islam.

Trump Sec of Defense Pick: Enemy of Islamism and Iran

December 4, 2016

Trump Sec of Defense Pick: Enemy of Islamism and Iran, Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, December 4, 2016

united-states-general-james-mattis-640-320-getty-drew-angerer_0General James Mattis with President-elect Trump (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

General Mattis completely and utterly rejects the romanticized interpretation of the Iranian regime as “moderate” or part of the solution to Sunni terrorism. In April, he described the Iranian regime as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East;” one greater than Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

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President-Elect Trump has chosen Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for secretary of defense, eliciting widespread enthusiasm focusing on his status as the “most revered Marine in a generation” and factory of quotable quotes.

Deserving of more positive attention is his emphasis on confronting Political Islam and the Iranian regime.

General Mattis has advocated for significant changes in both the military fight against the specific Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, as well as the fight against the Islamist ideology that births them. Although ISIS’ caliphate is on the decline, General Mattis doesn’t settle for an encouraging positive trend. He wants to win quickly and decisively, yet humanely with care for civilians.

In August, he said the strategy still is “unguided by a sustained policy or sound strategy [and is] replete with half measures.”

Mattis was one of the chief architects of the counter-insurgency campaign that turned Iraq around so rapidly that it even surprises many of its supporters.

In testimony to the Senate in 2015, he said, “The fundamental question I believe is, ‘Is political Islam in our best interest?’ If not, what is our policy to authoritatively support the countervailing forces?”

In another speech, General Mattis said that the fundamental flaw in our strategy has been a failure to define Political Islam as the enemy of U.S. interests. He made the correct observation that such a delineation between friend and foe would allow us to identify supportable Muslim allies.

“If we won’t even ask the question [if Political Islam is in U.S. interests], then how do we ever get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight? And if we don’t take our own side in this fight, we are leaving others adrift,” he said.

He then referenced his recent trip to Egypt and the widespread perception that the U.S. actually intends to empower the Muslim Brotherhood. The failure to base policy around a rejection of Political Islam inevitably leads to a tolerance or even an embrace of Islamists who surpass the low bar of condemning Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The Muslims who oppose Islamists are, as Mattis put it, left adrift.

Countless articles have been written claiming that a policy based on fighting “radical Islam,” “Political Islam,” “Islamism” and similar terms will inflame the Muslim world. Islamists and allied institutions will undoubtedly cry foul, as they always have at every minor slight, but the delineation will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Overlooked allies amongst Muslims and non-Muslim minorities will surface as U.S. policy forces the Muslim world to take stances on Islamism and its adhering organizations. New allies will be born as the discussion of Islamism leads to rejections of it. If messaged correctly, the U.S. will end up with more Muslim allies of better quality.

This view of Islamism as the adversary, rather than just specific terrorist groups targeting the U.S. homeland, is why General Mattis rejects the notion of a “moderate” Iranian regime. He was fired by the Obama Administration for his tough questions about the ramifications of current U.S. policy towards Iran.

General Mattis completely and utterly rejects the romanticized interpretation of the Iranian regime as “moderate” or part of the solution to Sunni terrorism. In April, he described the Iranian regime as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East;” one greater than Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

We recently pointed out that four of Trump’s picks want to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and wage a long overdue ideological offensive against Islamism, also known as Political Islam.

Trump then chose K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser and Katharine Gorka as part of his Department of Homeland security “landing team” to manage the transition between administrations. Both are strong advocates of an ideological war against Islamism and Gorka has advocated for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.

The U.S. war against Islamist extremism now enters a new, decisive phase, but let not our enthusiasm for this strategy blind us from the risks.

The successful implementation of the anti-Islamism strategy is not solely dependent upon Trump’s national security team. It’s dependent upon him.

If his decisions prevent demonstrable success, the ideological strategy will be considered a failed concept. Its advocates will have their credibility tarnished, perhaps unfairly, and the Western response to Islamism will be put on an indefinite hold as the ideology marches on.