The battle is between the intelligence community and sectors of the military. The military in question are the advisers around President Trump who have little use for the intelligence community. Retired General Michael Flynn, who is Trump's National Security Adviser, spearheads the military sector around Trump.
The intelligence community has just taken another shot at Flynn via The Washington Post to take him out of the picture.
The Washington Post reports:
National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.How can the Post confidently report what Flynn and Kislyak discussed? The Bezos rag explains (my bold)
Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.
[T]fuller account of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak [were] provided by officials who had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats. Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.Bottom line: The intelligence community monitored the conversations between Flynn and Kislak and are now leaking the topics discussed during those conversations (with their spin on it) to The Washington Post.
Don't think for a minute this isn't a Deep State battle. The military wing clearly has its claws into Trump and appears to want Trump to take a more aggressive direct confrontation with elements in the Middle East versus the proxy wars preferred by the CIA and its sister intelligence agencies.
It is clear what this more aggressive tact will mean. Trump has already escalated at the edge in Yemen by sending special forces combat troops for a special operation that was egged on by the military wing, specifically by General Mad Dog Mattis, who is now Secretary of Defense and Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and it is reported that Mattis next week will call on NATO to employ more troops in Afghanistan.
Then we have this curious comment from Trump on Thursday:
“We’ve spent $6 trillion … in the Middle East,” Trump said during a meeting with airline executives at the White House. “We’ve got nothing. We’ve got nothing. We never even kept a small, even a tiny oil well. Not one little oil well. I said, ‘Keep the oil.’
“If we kept the oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil,” Trump said. “But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”
Maybe will have another chance?
Doesn't sound like a CIA-style proxy war to me. A second chance to grab Iraq oil could only happen under full out a US military combat mission and a long range occupancy.