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Gens. Flynn, Kellogg: The truth about what's happening in Mosul (hint: Trump's right)

Benjamin Hall reports from Iraq

 

Donald Trump has voiced concerns regarding the Mosul offensive that was launched last week, in particular the involvement of Iranian backed Shiite militias. He has rightly stated that the winner in the Mosul offensive will be Iran. He is absolutely correct that the Mosul offensive was poorly and politically planned instead of being entrusted to military professionals who know how to win. The primary outcome of this operation will ultimately benefit the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Obama administration shows poor judgment in launching the Mosul offensive without planning for the day after military operations are complete, nor who will ultimately control Iraq’s second largest city. The problem in Iraq is political; it always has been and cannot be solved through military means alone. 

Mr. Trump was also correct that the White House should not have announced previously, and in such detail, that the offensive was going to begin, instead stating that the element of surprise should have been considered.

This prior and unnecessary announcement provided ISIS months to prepare. The consequences are that ISIS and their leaders have fled Mosul, surrounded the city with IEDs, suicide car bombs, booby traps and have dug massive tunnels to significantly deter attacking coalition forces. 

The Obama administration shows poor judgment in launching the Mosul offensive without planning for the day after military operations are complete, nor who will ultimately control Iraq’s second largest city. The problem in Iraq is political; it always has been and cannot be solved through military means alone.

They have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Mosul citizens and are using thousands of others for human shields. Reports are that ISIS senior leaders and militants have fled Mosul to Syria, traveled back to their home countries, or to the Sinai region in Egypt, in order to support the chaos in the trans-region with Libya. 

In 2004, King Abdullah II of Jordan warned of the coming Shiite Crescent, referring to Iran’s growing influence in Iraq and the Middle East. This warning has now become a reality with the assistance of the failed Clinton foreign policy and the poor leadership from the Obama administration. Today, the Shiite Crescent is a real threat, not only to our Sunni allies, especially Egypt and Jordan, but also presents a direct threat to the national security of the United States.

Under the Obama/Clinton administration, Iran has become the dominating and aggressive player in the Middle East. Iran’s influence stretches from Afghanistan to Syria, to Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Hillary Clinton’s failed foreign policy, her initiation of the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal, and overall bad judgment as Secretary of State allowed and emboldened Iran’s influence in the region.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s State Department undermined the democratic Iranian Green Movement in 2009, emboldening the Iranian regime and then went on to help spearhead the Iranian nuclear agreement, which has led to an even more aggressive Iran and provided them with billions of dollars – money that has reportedly gone to the terrorist sponsoring Revolutionary Guards Qods Force. 

Hillary Clinton’s ties to Iran go beyond her policies as Secretary of State. Her campaign manager, John Podesta and his namesake-lobbying firm was the first firm to receive a contract for the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq in 2013. It was reported that the firm was selected for its close ties to Democrat leaders such as the Clintons and Vice President Joe Biden. How is it possible that the person running the campaign for the Democratic nominee was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars from a government that is influenced and controlled by Iran, the number one state sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism.

The Podesta Group signed a contract this year to represent the government of Iraq for $960,000. This is collusion and corruption at the highest levels of government.

Under no circumstances should the Obama administration be allowing Iranian backed Shiite militias to be taking part in the Mosul operations. This is unacceptable and unthinkable. There is no difference between the ideology of ISIS and the Iranian regime, except ISIS is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. They both have goals of establishing an Islamic global caliphate using military force.

Iran is directly responsible for killing at least 500 American troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and wounding hundreds more. Iran manufactured and supplied Shiite militias in Iraq with highly lethal bombs known as explosively formed penetrators or EFPs, which were powerful enough to destroy U.S. Humvees and breach tank hulls. 

Yet today, the Obama administration is partnering with those very same radical Islamic leaders and militias that took so many American lives. 

Recently, Iranian backed Houthi rebels fired shore to ship missiles targeting American ships three times over four days off the coast of Yemen. Iranian Navy ships have harassed U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf numerous times and took American sailors hostage and then boldly humiliated them. Iran currently is holding American hostages demanding ransom payment. You cannot make this stuff up. Yet we continue to act as though we can deal with this terrorist sponsoring country. 

The Obama administration has no plan for who will govern the majority Sunni city of Mosul after military operations. The situation in Iraq is a political problem that needed to be addressed and worked out prior to launching the military offensive, yet no such plan exists. Turkey is now insisting on participating in the military operations due to the involvement of Iranian Shiite militias. 

The next administration will be responsible for handling the rapidly unraveling situation in Iraq after Mosul has been liberated. If liberation occurs before the New Year, which remains in serious doubt, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated a long track record of bad judgment, enabling our enemies and alienating our allies, and the likelihood of even more protracted conflict is high. 

Donald Trump has a plan to defeat ISIS and it comes with sound components that requires a far greater role by our Middle East partners combined with strong U.S. leadership. Donald Trump is committed to bringing back American leadership to the White House and will put our people and our American interests first. 

Lt. General (Ret.) Michael T. Flynn spent 33 years as an intelligence officer. He served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Senior Military Intelligence Officer in the Department of Defense. He is the founder of the Flynn Intel Group, a Commercial, Government, and International consulting firm. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller, co-written with Michael Ledeen, of "The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies" (St. Martin's Press, July 12, 2016).

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