In military circles, the talk all week has been about how and why the top intelligence officer in Afghanistan wound up publishing a scathing critique through a small-but-influential think tank. Now, weâ€™ve got the answers.
When Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn published his tough assessment of the militaryâ€™s spy agencies in Afghanistan, it caught Pentagon officials by surprise â€” not least because Flynn distributed it through Center for a New American Security. While Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said through his press secretary that he thought Flynnâ€™s findings were â€œspot on,â€ he made it clear he was a bit uncomfortable with the conduit Flynn used to distribute the report. Reuters, quoting Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, said Gates had â€œreal reservations about the generalâ€™s choice of venue for publication.â€
So how, exactly, did the think tank get picked to publish the report?
…â€œObviously, it was an irregular way to disseminate an idea for a serving officer,â€ Nagl said. â€œGen. Flynn decided for his own reasons â€” you should ask him what they were â€” to take this step. We were honored that he chose to do it through us. And we believe â€“ I believe â€“ that the issues he raised were of significance to national interest, and of immediate importance to our nationâ€™s success in Afghanistan, so I was happy to publish it.â€
2010-01-10 00:20:36 UTC