McClatchy News: Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent
WASHINGTON: One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.
The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.
Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.
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WNU Editor: Ed Morrisey at Hot Air digs into this and he is right on this point .... The McClatchy report shows a correlation. Does it show causation, though? (the link to Ed Morrisey is here). We do have to look at the context of why Michael Flynn made his decision .... to begin .... President Obama also followed Turkey's lead to not support the YPG .... that is until the very end of his administration when everyone realised that unless the U.S. wanted to commit thousands of troops to the capture of ISIS's capital at Raqqa (which no one wanted to do), the only other alternative would be to work with the YPG. Should Michael Flynn be sceptical when this was dropped on his lap when he just became national security adviser .... definitely. The problem .... and it is a big problem .... is that when Michael Flynn made his decision to postpone this partnership he did not disclose his ties to the Erdogan government through his Dutch client, and the fact that they were paid $500,000 for their services. I always say that optics counts for a lot in politics .... and the optics in this case are damning.