Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of Defense Intelligence Agency, believes the U.S. must build a coalition force with neighboring nations in order to address extremism in the Middle East, Defense News reported Wednesday.
Flynn told a conference in Columbus, Georgia, that “there are effective capabilities in that region, but we have to bring trust,” Joe Gould reports.
“They want U.S. leadership there to help them organize and know what to do from a military perspective,” he added.
Flynn also sees force alone as insufficient to defeat the Islamic State in what he calls “war of ideas” with extremists groups, according to the report.
“The strategic fight against this idea is something we need to do something about,” Flynn said, noting that ISIL is “only part of the problem.”
“We are in a war of ideas here, and it is not about Islamism and Christianity, it’s about moderation and contributors against evil,” he told the conference.
Flynn calls for joint and interagency partnerships in order to build up the U.S. Army‘s capabilities as a “foundation” of defense, Defense News reports.