At a July 13 event hosted by the Heritage Foundation, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (USA, Ret.) mentioned IWP, referring to it as “one of the only organizations that really deeply teaches statecraft.” The compliment came in relation to a comment by General Flynn about how young and inexperienced much of the United States’ national security staff is. Last year, General Flynn was the keynote speaker for IWP’s Silver Anniversary Gala and Chancellor’s Dinner.
The Heritage event was held in honor of General Flynn’s latest book: The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. During the event, General Flynn and co-author Michael Ledeen discussed the evolution of the Islamist threat from al-Qaeda to the Islamic State (IS) and how the U.S. has failed to deal with this threat since 9/11.
In addition to being an IWP parent, General Flynn is a career U.S. Army intelligence officer, starting out as the platoon leader of an electronic warfare (EW) unit in Operation Urgent Fury, the U.S.’s 1983 invasion of Grenada. He also cut his teeth as the intelligence chief of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). In Iraq, then-Colonel Flynn helped JSOC – then headed by Major General Stanley McChrystal – develop a procedure for targeting insurgents. This became the so-called “find, fix, finish” formula.
General Flynn stepped down from the helm of the DIA in 2014 because he believed that the Obama Administration was underestimating the threat of the global jihad and disregarding DIA analysis of the situation on the ground in Syria. General Flynn was rumored to be on the short list for a spot as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate.