Norton Publishes Review of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s Book, Policies


Augustus Richard Norton, Professor of International Relations and Anthropology at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a review of Lt. General Michael T. Flynn’s book The Field of Fight: How to Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.

In the review, Norton explores how many of the ideas and policies proposed by Flynn, who recently resigned as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, are representative of positions that are salient in the White House.

Norton’s review essay appears as the lead review in the Spring 2017 issue of Middle East Policy Council.

From the text of the review:

Presidents typically see their national security adviser multiple times daily. Just as his predecessors did, President Donald J. Trump will count on his national security adviser to keep him abreast of hot-button issues and to present well-considered options for responding to challenges around the globe. Trump’s first selection for the post was Michael T. Flynn, who lasted only 24 days before being pressured to resign. Despite Flynn’s curtailed tenure, it is important to consider the ideas and policies that he has espoused because many of them are shared by other close associates of the president, and even by the president himself.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, joined Trump’s campaign entourage in February 2016 and was a familiar figure at Trump’s side during the electoral campaign. Both men share the same wavelength on key security issues, not least the threats they believe are posed by “Radical Islam,” as well as by Iran. Public comments by both men evince a marked felicity toward Vladamir Putin and Russia, although Flynn’s writings are out of synch with his public statements. Trump’s resistance to the finding that Russia worked actively to interfere in and tilt the presidential election of 2016 was probably reinforced by Flynn’s animosity toward the CIA and other major intelligence agencies. Trump and Flynn purport that these institutions are politicized and try to please the boss rather than offer the unvarnished truth.

You can read the full review here.

Augustus Richard Norton is a professor of both International Relations and Anthropology at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies. He is also a Visiting Professor in Politics of the Middle East at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Read more about him, here.