Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.
Huffington Post - "It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel.
"As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him," Flynn went on to say. "The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision."
When told by Der Spiegel reporters Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark that the Islamic State would not "be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad," Flynn, without reservations, said: "Yes, absolutely."
Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also said that the American military response following 9/11 was not well thought-out at all and based on significant misunderstandings.
"When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, 'Where did those bastards come from? Let's go kill them. Let's go get them,'" he said.
Instead of determining why the U.S. was attacked by terrorists, Flynn said, the Bush administration was looking at where the terrorists came from and locations to attack.