Flynn offered key national security post

Retired Lt-Gen Flynn is known for taking a hardline stance on radical Islam.
Retired Lt-Gen Flynn is known for taking a hardline stance on radical Islam.

WASHINGTON • President-elect Donald Trump has offered the influential post of national security adviser to his controversial campaign adviser, retired lieutenant- general Michael Flynn, US media reported Trump officials as saying.

Highly respected as a decorated military intelligence officer who helped combat insurgent networks in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lt-Gen Flynn, 57, later generated widespread criticism for his strident backing of the Republican's campaign.

He served as Mr Trump's leading adviser on national security issues during the campaign and was a highly visible surrogate, with a hardline stance on radical Islam.

A Trump transition official told Reuters that Lt-Gen Flynn had accepted the offer.

As national security adviser, he would provide one of the most influential voices on foreign policy as well as some of the most pressing security issues facing the country, including the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, China's rising challenge in the South China Sea and elsewhere, and opposition from Russia.

His role would probably be even more influential than his predecessors', thanks to Mr Trump's near-total lack of experience in national security matters.

He would be the administration's main contact with the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies.

A registered Democrat, he left the military after President Barack Obama fired him from his post as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2014 following complaints about his leadership style.

He became a vocal critic of Mr Obama's, blaming his sacking on the administration's unwillingness to listen to his warnings about the threat from radical Islam.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2016, with the headline 'Flynn offered key national security post'. Print Edition | Subscribe