Flynn played crucial role ahead of Netanyahu-Trump summit


Outgoing US national security adviser met several times with Israeli officials to discuss Iran, Syria and the Palestinians

Times of Israel

US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned late Monday, was influential in attempting to forge common policies between Jerusalem and Washington on a number of issues.

The 58-year-old retired three-star general is a former military intelligence chief who saw militant Islamism as the main threat to global stability. He resigned following reports that he had misled US Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. His departure upends Trump’s senior team less than one month into the new president’s term.

Before his resignation, Flynn met with Mossad intelligence agency head Yossi Cohen and acting National Security Adviser Yaakov Nagel on Friday and Monday in preparation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s summit with Trump on Wednesday, according to a report in the daily Haaretz.

The Israeli security officials also met with Flynn and other unnamed aides in December and in January for briefings and discussions as part of an effort of the Trump administration and Israel’s government to formulate common policies on a number of issues they expect to work on closely in the coming years.

The officials were said to have discussed Iran, the civil war in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu’s government shares with Flynn the belief that radical Islam is one of the most dangerous threats to world stability and peace.

The son of a Rhode Island banker, Flynn had a professional army career mainly in intelligence units. In the 2000s he served in Iraq and then Afghanistan, where he became director of intelligence for coalition forces.

After leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn repeatedly criticized the Obama administration as inadequately focused on the Islamist threat. He even published a book titled “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”

In his book Flynn argued that Muslim countries must be forced to recognize and stamp out radical Islamic beliefs, which he says are “metastasizing” around the world.

“We’re in a global war, facing an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela,” he wrote in the New York Post in July.

“Along the way, the alliance picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.”

Since Trump’s inauguration, the new administration has adopted policies viewed much more favorably by Israel than those of the administration of Barack Obama, who clashed repeatedly with Netanyahu over Iran’s nuclear program and Israeli settlement construction.

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