"Iran is at the heart of Flynn’s fevered vision. The strictly limited, multilateral nuclear agreement signed in 2015 has been criticized by some for not going beyond the nuclear issue. Flynn and Ledeen transform it into a full-scale “strategic embrace of the Islamic Republic” by the United States. Focusing on the nuclear issue is, in any case, a mistake since, they argue, the goal of US policy should be regime change. Instead of invading Iraq in 2003, “our primary target should have been Tehran,…and the method should have been political—support of the internal Iranian opposition.” That this could have brought down the deeply entrenched Iranian government is another pure fantasy. But “we should at least consider how to change Iran from within, remembering that such methods brought down the Soviet Empire.” (They didn’t.)
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Flynn writes, have been fought in a “half-assed” manner, with “token” forces and without the resolution “to crush our enemies.” To win we have to destroy all ISIS and al-Qaeda bases, conquer the terrorities they hold, return them to local control, and then, somehow, “insist on good governance.” It was a “pipe dream” to believe we could bring full democracy to this region (not clearly defined, but including, at least, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kurdish areas), but “we could certainly bring order.” Order and good governance have, of course, been the elusive goals of a decade and a half of multitrillion-dollar effort."