© Susan Walsh/AP/File
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (2nd from r.) was among the US intel chiefs testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill last year.
The nation is no safer after 13 years of war, warns a top US military official who leads one of the nation's largest intelligence organizations.
"We have a whole gang of new actors out there that are far more extreme than Al Qaeda," says Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which employs some 17,000 American intelligence collectors in 140 countries around the world.
That the United States is no safer - and in some respects may be less safe - even after two wars and trillions of dollars
could prove to be disappointing news for Americans, noted the journalist questioning General Flynn at the Aspen Security Forum last week.
Still, Flynn was firm on that point. "Yeah, my quick answer is that we're not," he said.
America is less safe today in large part because of the emergence of terrorist groups like the Islamic State
, formerly know as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group is stoking regional wars in Syria and Iraq that will only continue to increase in complexity, Flynn said.
Then what about the claims from those within the Obama administration that core Al Qaeda is on the run?
On this point, Flynn - a strong personality who is slated to retire from the US military next month after clashing with higher-ups in the intelligence community - took issue as well.