America has forgotten how to win at war

Military, USMC
Military, USMC

By Michael Flynn

Somewhere along our national journey our political leaders lost the clarity of vision, our military commanders the habits of strategic thought, and our public the determined will to achieve victory.

Despite what you hear in the news from the Obama administration and the military, our strategy of conducting infrequent airstrikes and re-taking pockets of Iraq and Syria terrain will only help us achieve short-lived tactical victories.

We will not ultimately and strategically defeat ISIS on our current path. Nearly fifteen years have passed since the United States was attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda terrorists.

It has been over eighteen months since its ideological fellow travelers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured a broad swath of Iraq. ISIS continues to add to its recruitment pool of more than thirty-six thousand foreign fighters from approximately eighty different countries – already a formidable coalition.

Given its Internet sophistication and the attraction the group has with vast numbers of potential recruits from among disaffected populations around the globe, ISIS has the realistic potential to eventually swell its ranks of jihadists waging a “holy war” to hundreds of thousands in both the western and eastern hemispheres.

Already ISIS has expanded well beyond its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, with pledges of allegiance from extremist groups in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Dagestan. ISIS’s intent is to network these islands of extremism into a radical Islamic archipelago, with global ambitions for conquest.

A decade-and-a-half into this conflict we must acknowledge and take seriously not only the fanatical commitment of radical Islamic jihadists and their malevolent long-term intentions toward us, but also the fact that the threat has spread far beyond the Middle East. This shadow now darkens the prospects and threatens the well-being of hundreds of millions of people around the world. The continued forced migration of millions of refugees from the Middle East into the heart of Europe only hints at the mid- and long-term threat ISIS and its global army of jihadists pose.

Put simply, we are still at war with radical Islamic groups and an ideological movement that can’t be ignored nor wished away. We have to face the fact that ISIS and its army of like-minded jihadists are determined to win that war, and believe they are on the path to victory. They may well be right.

That raises two blunt and vital questions that almost never get asked in Washington, D.C. Do we even know how to win wars anymore? Does America still have what it takes? Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that the answers to both those questions are that we probably don’t…

Read the full article at FoxNews.

Michael T. Flynn (Mike), Lieutenant General, United States Army (Retired) and Chairman & CEO of Flynn Intel Group, Inc.

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