You asked, and he listened!
FOX Fan received an overwhelming amount of questions for Col. David Hunt.
I just read your article on the conditions at Walter Reed and am appalled! What can we, as ordinary Americans, do to help? Why isn't this being broadcast morning, noon and night on FOX News, as well as the other news agencies? How do we get this on the air? I'm the widow of a 20-year Navy man, and obviously have strong feelings for all of our military men and women.
Col. Hunt: The tragic story about the piss-poor care of our soldiers was drowned out by Anna Nicole Smith and some presidential politics. Oh, the Army relieved a Captain and some NCOs, but no one higher up, which is where the real self-serving jerks are perched.
In your article on the conditions at Water Reed, you seem to imply that President Bush should be impeached over this problem. If that is your implication, you are wrong, dead wrong! I suspect there is a colonel or two in the chain of command before you reach the president.
Col. Hunt: Fair enough, but not just some Colonels — some serious Generals too. My point on presidents was this: we must care more about what happens to our soldiers than we do about a president lying about sex. Also, if a president or anyone uses soldiers, cops, firemen or a flock of geese for his political purposes — like photo ops or back ground shots — then he should care enough about them to make sure they are cared for when they get blown up.
We do not even care enough to yell about this, and all you want to argue about is if President Bush should be held accountable? The care of our soldiers, our cops, our firemen — all those who serve and take an oath to protect us — is a sacred thing. When that sacred thing is broken, as it has been, you bet — off with all their heads (the leaders', that is.)
As an Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor, I spend more time teaching my trainees how to prepare for a pretty graduation parade than I do all other basic military skills combined. One instructor is in charge of training 50-60 trainees to do their part in defending our country; if an elementary school teacher was forced to teach 50-60 kids by themselves, parents and politicians would be beside themselves. Why is it that basic military training is so overlooked, not only in the Air Force but all services alike?
Col. Hunt: Political correctness has overcome our basic training and much of our military. We have become way too technical, way too dependent on stuff. We are not changing fast enough in this new war, and great guys like you are left holding the bag.
I have served in two of our armed forces and my girlfriend is career military. Everybody wants to know why it is such a mess. From a NCO perspective, this is what I have observed. I also agree that the majority of the people of this country just are not going to let us win at war anymore. They just don't have the stomach for it. First blunder was we went in and won the battle, but we didn't disarm the people nor did we secure the weapons that we did find (some of these were very large amounts). If we had disarmed the country the rules of engagement would be simple if your armed your a combatant.
Col. Hunt: Man, are you on target. But the ROE could still have worked if we had some leaders at the top with some reproductive organs in tact.
In your article "We Cannot or We Have Forgotten How to Fight" you state that we "We send soldiers into war without the right gear and claim it's OK, even as they die." What gear are our Soldiers not being provided and do you know why?
Col. Hunt: This condition is mostly in the National Guard and Army Reserve, but some of it exists in the active force too. For example, two brigades going to Iraq will not get training in insurgency tactics at the National Training Center because of the surge. In the first three years of this war, it was worse, with soldiers spending their own money on their gear. Now, with guys going back for their 4th and 5th tour, one of the benefits is that they already have their gear.
In your last Q&A, I think it was unfair to blame the Generals. Gen. Abizaid and Casey were working under rules of engagement that made it impossible to succeed. Those rules of engagement were imposed by the civilian leadership. Additionally, the force levels are dangerously low, and as a result our force in Iraq is far too small. I don't think it's fair to hold Gen. Abizaid and Casey responsible for all of that. Yes, they had the responsibility to inform the civilian leadership of the realities they faced (who can say they didn't?), but as we saw from what happened to GEN Shinseki, the civilian leadership was completely unreceptive to any advice that did not align with their own notions about how this war should have been fought. The Bush administration (i.e. Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Cheney) was convinced that this could be done on the cheap, and that's essentially what they told the American people at the outset of the war. They - the civilian leaders - were not about to listen to any dissenting view from the military leadership.
— Disgruntled Reader
Col. Hunt: Both civilian and military leadership is to blame. If you are going to take the salutes and ride in the big cars, then you take the hits when it goes bad. Abizaid and Casey were at the top, so for sure they are partially responsible, along with Rumsfeld.
I am curious on how average Iraqis and Iranians feel toward each other after their horrific 8-year war. Also, who guards the long border between their countries? Do we have troops on duty along it like on the dmz, or is it full of "gaps"?
— Roland (Hamilton, MT)
Col. Hunt: The borders are mostly guarded by Iraqi troops, and you could drive an aircraft carrier through them. Most Iraqis and Iranians are Shiia, so the people get along, and so do the current governments.
Does each branch of the military have Special Forces? Are we training Iraqi special force units?
Col. Hunt: Army has Special Forces, Rangers and special units like DELTA FORCE; Navy has SEALS, the Marines have Recon, and a new Special Capability; Air Force has Combat Controllers and Para Rescue. We are training Iraqi Special Forces, and they are the best there.
I have watched President Bush when he visits various military bases with the troops. My Question is, why don't the Troops fall out in a class A uniform, instead of fatigues? It seems to me that when the commander in chief comes to visit, everyone should wear their best. Several years ago, my Squadron Commander observed a member of the squadron in a downtown store wearing fatigues. After that the commander ordered everyone to wear class A blues to work, and change into fatigues after arriving at the work site. I can't recall when I have seen a member of the military in a class A uniform. What has happened to the Military in regards to wearing of the uniform?
Col. Hunt: The fatigue uniform is the military's daily wear, and it is now wash and wear. I like that we do not wear the dress uniform too much. We are at war, not in a parade. We have soldiers in D.C. called the Old Guard, great soldiers who we can all see if we want to see soldiers in dress uniforms. This is a great military — as good as any we have every had, in or out of a dress uniform.
Could Israel do a preemptive attack on Iran from sea, with missiles and an aircraft carrier purchased from the U.S. to launch bunker-busting bombs from the air?
Col. Hunt: They could, but will not without our permission and help. There are too many targets for our friends to do alone.
Colonel David Hunt, U.S. Army (Ret.), is a FOX News military analyst and the author of the New York Times bestseller They Just Don’t Get It. He has extensive operational experience in counterterrorism, special operations, and intelligence operations. He has trained the FBI and Special Forces in counterterrorism tactics, served as the security adviser to six different Olympic Games, testified as an expert at many major terrorist trials, and lectured at the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency. You can read his complete bio here.