Q&A With Col. David Hunt

You asked, and he listened!

FOX Fan received an overwhelming amount of questions for Col. David Hunt.

Please continue to send in your military questions, and be sure to check out his column archive!

Col. Hunt's Previous Q&A:

“I have thought for a long time about people like Hillary, Barack, McCain, Edwards, and company. Would these people take us to war if we were attacked, or would they blink and have it cost us dearly in lives? I think guys like McCain and Hagel would blink because of their war experiences. I am a vet, and I believe we are going to get hit again on the homeland by these extremists. I am convinced that any Democrat running would blink and blink, etc. That scares the crap out of me.” — Noel R. USN 1956-1960

Col. Hunt:Noel, thanks for your service. My dad was a Democrat, and he was the bravest man I ever knew; he served for 4.5 years in the Pacific in WWII. Today’s Democrats do not appear to be fighters like my dad's generation. There are exceptions: newly elected Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) won the Navy Cross in 'Nam. However, as we are seeing, as a body, the Democrats seem only willing to talk tough.

“Colonel, your comments on gays I have no problem with; although as a practical matter ‘keeping it in the closet’ is no doubt wise. An openly gay man in a unit trained to solve problems by killing people (I was infantry, and that was my interpretation of our training) is likely to get beat up or worse. So, I'm not sure we would be doing them any favors by encouraging them to ‘out’ themselves. But women are a different matter. Physically, they are inferior, and putting them in combat situations makes our military inferior. There may be women who can hike with 90 pounds of equipment through the jungle for hours on end, but I haven’t met any.” — Roger (Lilburn, GA) (199th LIB 1969-70)

Col. Hunt: Roger, 199th great unit, welcome home brother.Here is what I am suggesting: we make a standard, if the 90 pound ruck is part of the standard, then so be it, humping in the jungle with a "drive on rag" for countless hours, all of it.Once we agree on the standard, then anyone who meets the standard should be accepted. What I am suggesting is that we not exclude anyone who can meet the standard. We need talented, capable people and should not exclude anyone because they squat to pee or have sex in a manner we do not approve of.

“Colonel Hunt, sir, I profoundly disagree with your article on the gay Marine Sergeant. As a recently retired Marine, I would not have chosen to serve with a openly gay Marine for the same reasons that I would not have wanted a female Marine serving with my unit. The Marine Corps has a sound policy of not allowing women to serve in combat arms units, ostensibly for the reason of not exposing these women to combat.

We both know that doesn't work; many of our young women are exposed to more dangers serving in support roles, than if they where with infantry or other combat arms units. However, in my opinion this policy is still sound because of the disruption of unit cohesion and morale that these young ladies can have on a unit.

The Marine Corps is not and should not be a vehicle for social experimentation or social equality, its existence is to fight and win battles. This is only accomplished when the young men whose boots trace the frontline of this nations wars can bond together as a cohesive fighting unit second to none on the face of this planet. Semper Fidelis. — GySgt. John (Ret.) (Salisbury, MD)

Col. Hunt: Gunny, "don’t ask don’t tell" is a social experiment and a dishonest one. The SSG served honorably got severely wounded serving this great nation and your Marine Corps. We need more of everything; you guys are on your fourth tour, and doing seven months in Iraq, then seven months at home. We have had over 50 women killed in combat in Iraq; the Army has a woman awarded the Silver Star; you guys recently had a woman Marine Public Affairs Officer killed -- so women, Gunny, are already in combat. There are an estimated 65,000 homosexuals in the military and more are coming. We need all the talent we can get in all our services.

"Col. Hunt, I was with the 82nd Abn., 1/504 Recon from '71 to '74 and remember it more fondly than I'm sure it was! And while I agree with you on most of your observations (including that gays can be good soldiers) I don't believe that gays should be allowed to be open and above reproach anymore now than they were then. Of course there have been gays in the military, probably since the beginning, but if it had been flagrant, unit cohesion would suffer. The military is not a social petri dish.

The same goes for women in the combat arms. You can't honestly argue that MOST women can perform physically on par with the average male. All one has to do is see how the physical training has been watered down to accommodate women when they train with men (except in the Marines as I understand). This helps no one!

So, my question is: In spite of the general acknowledgement that gays are in the military, and regardless of the political back and forth in the courts in civilian life, do you think it wise to change the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy?” — Stewart

Col. Hunt: Stewart, thanks for your service. You are, of course, correct. The watered down training — watered down by men — has been wrong, just to accommodate women in training. As I told another writer in this column, I am suggesting we establish a very high and very practical standard, and then accept any and all who can reach that standard, no matter what their sex or sexual orientation. With good leadership, tough training and shared danger, soldiers will not care. This might take awhile to accept, I agree, but I think the war we are in requires it.

“Colonel, I have been a big fan of yours for years on FOX news. I find you extremely insightful and entertaining. Please tell me why this idea is right or wrong: why do we simply not pull our troops back to the borders of Iraq and let the Iraqi government fight this out?

This would stem the outside influence of foreign fighters, weapons and the like. Are we afraid of who would come out in a fair fight? Seems to me the Sunnis and Al Qaeda would get crushed, and we could all move on our happy way.

I live in a military town and come from a military family. It breaks my heart to see so many soldiers killed and maimed daily for amounts to a pitiful civil war between people who do not want nor deserve our help. Regards from a frustrated American.” — Bill (Jacksonville, FL)

Col. Hunt: Bill, your idea has merit. We are not doing it because of hubris on the part of our government. We should have pulled back three years ago. We have failed to train the Iraqi police, and done less than stellar work training the Iraqi military. We should at least threaten Iraq's government with your idea. I also agree with your sentiment — it has not been worth the loss of American life and limb to see Iraq in the state its in now.

“Dear Col. Hunt: I am not sure if you remember me, I was a Captain working for you part time on the committee for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. I later commanded a company with the 5/20th IN.

I am currently in Kuwait working in a Civil Military Operations Officer position and will be retiring from the Army Reserves this Spring when I return from my deployment. My opinion is that one of the ways for us to be successful in the war in Iraq is to first establish a secure environment and then to concentrate on providing the basic needs of the people. This would be accomplished through the PRT's and an expansion of the role of the CA forces within the country. To me it is a basic application of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Would you agree with this basic and rather simplistic overview?” — LTC Bob CMO, 377th TSC Kuwait

Col. Hunt: Bob, of course, how the hell are you? Yes, a secure environment and basic needs would be nice, and I think doing that through the tribes would have worked. Now, you will have to use the Iraqi government, and that is not working very well; and yes, Maslow works in this case very well. It's a big problem that you and guys like you are not in charge — the inmates are running the asylum, I'm afraid. Take care of yourself.

“I read your column in FOXNews.com about gays in the military, and you're absolutely correct: SO WHAT? Does a sexual orientation make up the chemistry of a good or bad soldier? Hell no! It's just a real shame that we have to live — cohabit — with the racists, sexists, bigots and homophobes. But I think that is slowly, but surely, changing.

What doesn't seem to be changing is the quality of leadership in the Pentagon. It takes more than a military commander (Pace) with a military education and background to lead, a hell of a lot more, and frankly sir, I haven't seen this in the Pentagon since General Colin Powell. Permutation is needed in the military leadership/makeup in the Pentagon. Get rid of Pace, and Attorney General Gonzales as well.” — Myke (Seattle, WA)

Col. Hunt: Pace is the tip of the incompetent iceberg. The issue is in how we promote and what we think our seniors should be like. We need a Grant, a Marshall, a Patton — and not a single Pace — if we are going to win this war. Gonzales is nothing more than a friend of the president, no less, and certainly no more.

“Colonel, I am a retired CWO3 and spent years at sea and living in tent cities. Your views on gay service members are completely out of whack. There is absolutely no way to maintain good order and discipline in that kind of environment and you know it.

At least with boys and girls you attempt to bed them down separately. Neither I, nor my son, an active submariner, wants to be in close quarters with someone whose sexual proclivities include my sex and whose lifestyle most rational people find totally repugnant. You’re very good at breaking down the tactical details. Stick with it. You are terrible at sociology.” — Roger D.

Col. Hunt: Roger, thanks for your service.I get your point, but I must respectfully disagree.I am not arguing for acceptance of a lifestyle; I am arguing for competency with no regard to sexual orientation. This war should have changed everything — including our attitudes.

“Colonel Hunt, sir, I agree that gay and straight soldiers probably do perform the same duties with honor on both sides. I was in the Navy prior to that policy and was an enlisted recruiter when the policy was enacted, and I agree with ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ for one simple reason: it is their sexual preference and being openly gay could affect cohesion in the military.

If you let openly gay male and female’s cohabitate with their sexual preference, is it not fair then to allow straight men and women the right to cohabitate, shower, dress, undress and sleep in the same dwellings? That is the core problem to this issue.” — Dave

Col. Hunt: Dave, openly gay does not necessarily mean cohabitating in the barracks or anywhere else. There would have to be rules, but we have to be willing to try them. We cannot afford to exclude talented people from our nation's services just because they make some of us nervous — we are at war, dammit. Al Qaeda does not care if we are gay or straight — just that we are Americans, and they want to kill us. I am suggesting we do the same, and use all of us to do it, not just the ones some of deem acceptable. Again, let me remind us all that similar arguments of exclusion were used to keep blacks from serving in combat units in World War II.

“Hello, Colonel. Why is it OK to minimize the outing of Ms. Plame, saying that she wasn't ‘covert,’ therefore 'we didn't do anything wrong?' I think that it would be treasonous to out the night janitor at the CIA, because his credentials could be used to access the building."

Col. Hunt: Wow, I do not think it is a trivial thing at all to have “outed” Ms. Plame, I think that was a crime. No matter what the administration thought of Joe Wilson, Plame’s husband, there was no excuse at all to publically or privately discuss her name and classified position. We should be honoring our spies, not outing them. They deserve our respect, not this crap.

I am a proud U.S. Navy veteran and I am very ashamed at the direction of our country and at watching our enemies get stronger, China, Mexico, Venezuela, Islam, etc. I appreciate your inputs on the shows and you always seem to be a fair, straight-shooting true patriot. Thank you for your time and efforts.” — Dane

Col. Hunt: We seem to be hoping(and hoping is not a method) that places like the Middle East and Central and South America will get better all by themselves — yet we are constantly being reminded that without our help these places turn to idiots like Chavez, or worse, to outright terrorism.

“Colonel: I have read your column for months and my question is: who is more accountable for mistakes during war — the military planners and soldiers or our political system in general? Isn't the oldest and worst political system in our country the politics of promotion in our military? Respectfully…” — Chad

Col. Hunt: Well, the soldiers are blameless, so it has to be Rumsfeld and the Generals. They had the power, the planners told them, the big boys made horrendously bad decisions and then played politics or lied (or both) when it went bad. Yes, the military system of promotion is corrupt and full of nepotism.

“I've heard that there is a company producing robots to help sniff out and/or disarm IEDs — I think they're called Packbots. Do you have any information on them — are they in theater, are they doing any good, and what do the soldiers think of them? Thank you, and keep telling it like it is.” — Cathy (St. Ann, MO)

Col. Hunt: Cathy, Packbots are being tested now and many like them. It takes too long right now to get new gear into the hands of the soldiers.


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.