|Col. David Hunt|
Click here to watch Col. Hunt on The O'Reilly Factor.
What is the difference between the guerrilla warfare currently being waged in Iraq, and the one fought in Vietnam?
Col. Hunt: There are a lot of differences. First, the terrain; jungle vs. desert. The size of our force is also smaller than we were in Vietnam. We don't have to worry about China and Russia as we did then. However, we do have Iran and Syria causing problems in Iraq, but the size of the interference is significantly smaller. The Viet Cong were more potent and were supported more by the locals than the current guerrilla fighters are in Iraq. The VC were very tough. So far, the Iraqis don't appear to have the "sand" to really make this a fight. Also, we have the support of American people, and for most of Vietnam we did not.
Do you believe that now with both sons dead, a) There will be a lessening of the attacks on our troops in this guerrilla warfare? b) Will it be even more difficult to find Saddam himself, will he go deeper into hiding? — Ken (East Greenville, PA )
Col. Hunt: Yes, we got them this time and they appeared to have been directing the attacks. As for Saddam, we obtained some cell numbers and other information that may help. Paying $30 million to the informant that led us to Uday and Qusay should encourage others to help us find Saddam.
I served in Germany during the 50's. What is different now that was not present during the occupation of Germany after WW II? Why can't the same methods be employed in Iraq?
Col. Hunt: First, thanks for your service. We could do what you suggest, the only issue is the political will. The soldiers and airmen and Marines know what to do. They simply need the o.k. to do it. But you are right.
What exactly is our reason for sending troops into Liberia? For what it is worth, I think that only United Nations forces should be engaged in Liberia; perhaps with US troops being a part of that contingent, but not the only policing force. — B. Turner (Aloha, OR)
Col. Hunt: We should do a non-combatant evacuation order (NEO) and essentially go in get the embassy people and any non-governmental organizations (NGOS) that want to come out. We should not be part of the U.N. for this. The U.N. is totally incompetent in peacekeeping. A stable Africa is in our favor, and essential in the war on terrorism as it denies areas for the terrorists to inhabit. But make no mistake, Africa is a tough place to do business.
I haven't heard much about the tunnels in Baghdad. Has the military finished searching and securing them? Did they find anything interesting? Did it really start out as a subway system? — Dan (Midlothian, VA)
Col. Hunt: Much has been done about this in secret. Papers have been found, but events are still developing. It is not an interesting story until something is found, which is my guess for why you have not heard much about it. It did start out as a subway system, built by the Germans.
Should we really be sending troops to Liberia with so many questions about how to properly rotate troops out of Iraq? Wouldn't we be better served to use these forces in Iraq as we have vital interests there as opposed to sending them to Liberia where our interests are questionable at best? — Chris (Columbus, Ohio)
Col. Hunt: I would only rotate whole units, not individuals. They should stay at least one year per rotation. I agree if we are going to continue the fight on terrorism, we need some other nations to help in Iraq, so that we can free up our units to go to the next fight.
What is the progress of training Iraq's military and police? Does it include the Kurds? When can they take some of the street burden away from our troops? — Sam (Tucson, AZ)
Col. Hunt: A slow State Department is making this harder than necessary. It will be turned over to civilian contractors soon; at least one year away. The Kurds will stay in the North and be pretty much autonomous. Again, the State Department is screwing this up. We will be in Iraq for many years to come.
Please advise the actions of Private Lynch that prompted her to be awarded the Bronze Star. — Sheldon
Col. Hunt: This is a tough one. A sergeant in her unit actually did the hero work. I don't know what she did to warrant a medal for heroism. However, she clearly deserves the purple heart and our prayers. The bottom line is, the U.S. Army is nuts over medals. We have really cheapened many medals. I think none of this is Pfc. Lynch's fault. By all accounts she and her family have been nothing but classy through this whole thing. Some (like the Army) may be playing politics with her. However, her rescue was totally real.