Retired General: Obama's Drone Program 'A Failed Strategy'
In upcoming interview with Al Jazeera English’s Head to Head, former head of Defense Intelligence Agency says US invasion of Iraq 'definitely put fuel on a fire'
President Barack Obama's former top military intelligence official Lt. General Michael Flynn has denounced the administration's drone program as counterproductive and a "failed strategy."
Flynn was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 until his retirement in 2014, and has been described by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill as "Stanley McChrystal's intelligence czar at the Joint Special Operations Command at the height of their Murder Incorporated operation in Iraq."
Flynn made the comments in a forthcoming interview with Al Jazeera English’s Head to Head program.
According to excerpts made available by Al Jazeera, Flynn said "there should be a different approach, absolutely" on drones. "When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good."
"What we have is this continued investment in conflict," he said. “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict."
He also said the U.S. invasion of Iraq was "a strategic mistake," given the rise of ISIS in the country. "We definitely put fuel on a fire," he said, adding that "history will not be kind to the decisions that were made certainly in 2003."
But Flynn's new critique of the administration is not an anomaly. As Foreign Policy notes, since his retirement, Flynn "has been in the vanguard of those criticizing the president’s policies in the Middle East."
In an op-ed in Politico Magazine in February, for example, he criticized what he portrayed as the administration's lack of decisive action against ISIS. "It would be foolish for us to wait until [violent Islamists pose an existential threat before taking decisive action," he wrote, adding, "we must engage the violent Islamists wherever they are, drive them from their safe havens and kill them."
And in an interview with Fox News in March, Flynn described Obama's Middle East policy as one of "willful ignorance."
The Head to Head interview with Flynn is set to air July 31.