Instaread Summary of The Field of Fight How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies by Michael T. Flynn with Michael Ledeen
Four out of five stars
Michael Flynn is a retired U. S. Army Lieutenant General and the former head of the Defense Intelligence agency. He also spent a great deal of time deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, so he has extensive field experience in the Middle East as well as in a management role. The book is his perspective on how the United States and her allies should fight against the radical faction of Islam. This is a more appropriate term, for the violent extremists are but a small faction of the over one billion people of the Islamic faith.
The key takeaways deliver a very pessimistic view of the fight against the radical faction of Islam. The most telling is number three:
“The United States and its Western allies are losing their global battle against radical Islam.”
We must always keep in mind that the majority of people killed by ISIS are native to the Middle East, not people from or in western countries. Religious minorities in the areas controlled by ISIS have been devastated. Despite ridiculous claims to the contrary, the radical faction of Islam is no existential threat to the United States or any other western country.
Key takeaway number two is one that is a bit disingenuous in statement and explanation. It is:
“The US government repeatedly neglects to prepare for the next, inevitable conflict during times of peace.”
While elected officials and their political appointees create policy and give the orders, that process does not take place in a vacuum. The military leaders are heavily involved in driving the creating of policy, so this statement is self-referential. Furthermore, the history of warfare makes it clear that the old adage, “Generals are always fighting the last year,” is true.
Key takeaway eight is a bit unrealistic, simplistic and in ways just plain wrong. It is:
“Iran has been a threat to the United States for decades through its sponsorship of international terrorism. However, the United States has prioritized maintaining diplomatic relations with Iran over international security.”
The first line in the takeaway is: “No American president has ever stood up to the policies of post-revolutionary Iran.”
In the area of wrong, the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, they were severed after the fall of the Shah and never restored. Secondly, the United States was the leader in imposing crippling international economic sanctions against Iran, these sanctions ultimately led Iran to negotiate. Finally, Iran is a nation state in a critical area of the world. No political settlement in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq can be implemented without Iranian approval. That is just a fact that necessitates contact between the governments of the United States and Iran.
While I found this summary interesting, it is also one-sided and occasionally disingenuous at best.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.