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FOX Fan received an overwhelming amount of questions for Col. David Hunt.
Once again, thanks for your service. Also many thanks for your concise description of the Gen. Pace bomb. It makes it more obvious that there is no such thing as leadership when it comes to Iraq. My question is if no one is leading, who, if anyone, is steering this conflict? Our great young men cannot continue being thrown into situations that have no meaning! Thanks for letting me vent! — Tom (Apple Valley, CA)
COL. HUNT: Tom, The current President and his team are “steering” this conflict. Unfortunately, the current administration which includes the generals are not leading; they are letting events lead them, not leading events and the ones that are paying for this, as always, are our great service men and women.
I continue to watch the events in the Middle East grow more violent. Is this the lead up to a general war in the area? The Iranian theocracy acts arrogant, desperate and irrational. The U.S. government does nothing, and things continue to deteriorate. What will happen? — Dwight
COL. HUNT: Dwight, If the U.S. continues to stay uninterested in dealing in Iran and helping our friends in Israel then the Palestinian/Israel issue, the Hamas in Palestine Issue, the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Iran up to its eyeballs in American blood in Iraq Issue will get worse. If that is not enough, we will get another attack that will dwarf 9/11. We are the greatest country on the planet; it is more than enough time that we act like it.
Reinforcements and supplies are coming into Iraq from Iran and Syria, and Saudi Arabia is giving financial support to terrorist groups. Our counter-insurgency effort in Irag is doomed to failure if we do not stop this steady flow of men and material from these countries. What say you? — Joe, Former Air Force type
COL. HUNT: Joe, For an Air Force type you are pretty damn smart. We have had great trouble in stopping the stuff coming in from all the countries you mention, which is part of the reason we are having so much trouble in Iraq. If we cannot control the borders in Iraq, or hell even in our own country, then we are inviting disaster in both places.
Col. Hunt Sir: What, if anything, can be done about the people of Iraq killing their own? I just read on the FOX News Web site that it was the Iraqi police who blew up the mosque. (It wasn't this bad in Vietnam, if I remember right.) Just how many Iraqis have been killed by other Iraqis? Is there anything that we can do to stop this, outside of killing every male over there and importing new ones in their place? — John, USN, RET.
COL. HUNT: John, Thanks for you service. The number of Iraq civilians killed since we have been there is in the tens of thousands. The exact number varies depending on to whom you speak, Iraq government, U.S. government or independent looks, from the likes of Johns Hopkins University or the Red Cross. It was worse in Nam. Ultimately, it will be up to the Iraqi people, their government and their police and military to stop this; we have done all we can do.
You are a GREAT American and thank you for your service to the country. My question is this: If we were fighting war in Iraq properly, don't you think we would be having a lot less problems than we are having now? Our guys are doing great over there but can only do so much because of political bureaucracy (which is complete crap on our part). Do you agree? — Kenny
COL. HUNT: Kenny, Thank you, however, as much as I would love to go back, but to fight, not to give a PowerPoint briefing, the military has no need of fat, over-the-hill, loud-mouth old Colonels. We do need to promote some fire-breathing gunslingers. They are there, just not pretty, and not with perfect records, but great fighters, and we need them a hell of a lot more than they need me.
What would you do about Iran? All that they seem to want is all-out war with the West. I have my plans, what is yours? — Tim
COL. HUNT: Tim, I believe that Iran has the bomb; they do not have the trigger and deliverable thing worked out, but making a bomb has been made simple by a guy named Khan in Pakistan and money ,which Iran has by the boat load. First, I would force all U.S. companies out of Iraq, like GE and Halliburton. I would put pressure, and I mean serious pressure, on Europe, China and Russia — all of whom are doing billions of dollars worth of business with Iran today. I would fully support and actively participate in undermining the current Iranian government from within by supporting dissident groups, maybe an assassination or two. Bombing or invading must be the last option, unless you are willing to occupy the place, and we are not very good at that right now.
Why is that the rules of engagement haven't changed? Why don't we do more air strikes and “bomb them all to hell”? And why are we not there to win? Where is Patton when we need him? And why is Bush such a coward? I would like your analysis. — Eric
COL. HUNT: Eric, Nice advertising there for AIG. The rules of engagement changed slightly, but not enough. The reason they even exist is that our nation has forgotten how to fight. War is brutal; it should be and Rules of Engagement are designed to protect people's careers and to give political cover not help soldiers fight. We have some Pattons in the services, but they are not getting promoted. The president may not be a coward, but his administration has proven to be massively incompetent in running this war and handling, issues like immigration.
There's a news article out today that only two of the current candidates for the presidency have served in the military. (Big surprise!) I have been wondering this for a while, and decided to ask you. Please, please run for president. I'm really concerned about who could possibly win the next election, and I'm sick at heart that this was has become just another political game. In considering the candidates, and the people who "might" run for president, I don't think any of them can be trusted to go forward with the war, and I know you will not allow our fallen soldiers to have died in vain, and our returning soldiers to be made to feel like failures. — Janine (Creve Coeur, MO)
COL. HUNT: Janine, Please check your food intake. You are in serious need of more fruit and greens in your diet, as the left side of your brain, the cognitive side, is not working. I could not survive the background check. I have no hair, I do not like big, white houses and I am absolutely unelectable other than that sure. You are very kind so suggest such an idea, but please have your blood sugar checked.
Read your response to the question on homosexuals in the military. My first concern isn't about competence or courage; it's about the fact that gay male life is extremely risky with respect to HIV. In a combat situation, there will be times when wounds need to be treated ASAP and that means getting bloody hands. In combat, it's not unusual to have cuts and skin lacerations on your hands. I wouldn't want to stick my hands in the blood of anyone I had the slightest doubts about. My second concern is about romantic attachments and I can't see any way that such attachments within a unit would not compromise good order and discipline. If my girlfriend were in my unit, you can bet my attention would be divided and my decisions skewed, not to mention the possibility of romantic rivalries. The military's mission is to fight, not to provide equal opportunity employment. Thank you for your service and for your straightforward responses when on TV. Wish you were on more often. — Doug, RVN 1968-69
COL. HUNT: Doug, Welcome home, Brother, thanks for your service. You make great points. Maybe it's all gay units or selective places like translators or intelligence work. I am sure we can figure out ways to use all our citizens in this war. I am not supporting a lifestyle, I am supporting getting the best and the brightest and the bravest in this war, and right now we are excluding many because we do not approve of how they have sex or go to the bathroom.
My Dad is a retired Air Force 06. I have always been amazed at his ability to keep focused on the job at hand and yet admit and correct mistakes and forge ahead. I have for the most part supported President Bush, however, I hope he knows that all great leaders have made mistakes and had to adjust their strategy. Just ask Roosevelt, Churchill or Eisenhower. I think it is time to let the Iraq government know you have a year, get it together, because we are out. I wish President Bush could sit down with my Dad for about an hour. He might learn something. — Chris (Green Cove Springs, FL)
COL. HUNT: Chris, Your Dad sounds terrific, even for an Air Force guy. You are lucky to have each other. The president would indeed be well served talking to him. This administration could use a lot more men like your Dad. There is great talent out there, with men and women with fantastic experience — but we get very narrow-minded and sighted and do not even ask them to help. We the people are in desperate need of men like your father.
Best regards and salute to you, Col. Hunt! I was wondering what your views and opinions are of the way Gen. "Black Jack" Pershing dealt with the Muslim terrorists in the Philippines many, many years ago. Speaking solely from a military standpoint, and not allowing "political correctness" or what's popular influence your response, do you think such actions in Iraq and Afghanistan like that of Pershing's (dipping bullets in Pig's blood) would be effective? And, do you think any number of our troops are aware of what Pershing did? Should they know? I, myself, think they should. — Jim, USN S/C Disabled
COL. HUNT: Jim, Thanks for your service and sorry for your injuries. "Black Jack" Pershing would have been put in jail in today's military. I totally agree with his way of fighting, “kill them all” if they stand against you. We have no one like him in our General Officer Corps. We need men and women like him and like Gen. Throkmorton, Gen. Emerson, Gen. Grant, Gen. “Chesty” Puller, Col. Dave Hackworth, my Dad, my Brother; where have such men gone. We need them now. I know of some in the military today, but they are not getting them promoted, so instead we get generals who use words like “kinetics” instead of killing.
It seems to me a critical requirement for combating IEDs, and other roadside explosive devices and even ambushes, is the need for continued effective surveillance of highly dangerous roads. Predators don't have the staying power, and satellites aren't practical. One possible solution would be the use of mini airships that could carry the TV and infrared detectors and electronic control mechanisms. They would have staying power that would provide coverage over a long time period, and could cruise at an altitude that would put them out of reach of small arms, RPGs, etc. There are already commercially available airships, blimps or whatever you want to call them. They are streamlined and have a size as small as 26-30 feet in length. What do you think of this idea? — Tom (Havertown, PA)
COL. HUNT: Tom, Your idea is terrific and is being used in Iraq today.
It seems that IEDs are responsible for killing the vast majority of our troops. Do we not have any way of detecting these devices or are we at the mercy of stationary bombs and mines? Also, since we can "Google" any place in the world by the use of satellites, why can't the military use this same type of surveillance to locate movements by the enemy in Iraq as well as Afghanistan? It is frustrating to be the most powerful country in the world and still be humiliated by third world religious fanatics. — Vol
COL. HUNT: The IED and VIED have killed far too many of our servicemen and women. Every time we make advances in detecting them, the Iranians, Al Qaeda or the militias make new ones. We have been unwilling to do simple yet brutal things to prevent these attacks; punitive curfews, sniper teams, paying off insurgents, and killing more of the terrorists before they can kill us.
I just read your article “President Turns his Back on 'Perfect' Peter Pace” and I must say, thank you. You posted your editorial appropriately and it was timed properly and worded wise. Having served as an attachment to 2/1 and 3/5 in Fallujah 2004, I experienced the most horrendous politically correct gaffe of all time. Pulling us out of the city in April was just plain wrong and taught our enemies a lot more than what some will acknowledge. Our Clinton-era upbringing of the politically correct leadership of today is causing problems with morale and the more important victory over our enemies. But I digress. I appreciate you holding your opinion on our top military leader until it was announced what his outcome would be. This shows the insight and wisdom the left has never understood or shown. Thank you sir for all you have done for our nation, both in your military career and media job. — TSgt Sean, Installation Antiterrorism Officer, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
COL. HUNT: TSGT Sean, Thank you for your service. I appreciate your sentiment, but please realize Gen. Pace used to be a Marine; he turned into a politician in uniform a long time ago. We needed him to be a Marine again. It is tragic that he forgot how. The first Fallujah Fight was spectacular. The Marines and Army units were kicking serious ass when they were called off, because the terrorists showed false pictures of hospitals filling up with civilian casualties, which never happened. Our military and political “leaders,” not our Marines and soldiers, turned gutless and left. As you know we had to go back and more or our great guys died than had to again. Pace was part of the cabal that allowed that to happen.
I am concerned that this nation is not up to dealing with a nuclear event here in the U.S. The casualties associated with that event and the need for infrastructure restoration is something about which I have an uneasy feeling. I thought about this as the DOD closed a lot of the military hospitals, which I feel could have provided some of this needed support. I also feel that some of the DOD capabilities in communications should be given some consideration (i.e. DISA) that could possibly help in the aftermath of such an event. In short, I believe we need to approach what may be the "inevitable" as a team, a nation, and not depend on some bureaucratic agency to fix this. Was wondering what you might think about this? — Jim
COL. HUNT: Jim, You are, of course, correct “Sir.” This type of war we are totally unprepared for in almost every respect. We cannot get the next set of presidential candidates to even begin to talk about it. We as a nation could not help our own citizens in Katrina, let alone the type of disaster you are describing.
I love the way you think. You say what many of us regular guys want to hear. Tired of the stench of this politically correct world, you sir, are a breath of fresh air. My question to you is this: why can't you be a military advisor to this administration? Why would you not offer your services when the president was shaking the bushes looking for the new Czar (filled by Doug Lute)? — Doug (Munster, IN)
COL. HUNT: Doug, Thank you, however, much finer men and women are available for such high positions. The president just hired a three-star to be his War Czar, whatever the hell that means. Also the mere fact that “regular guys” get me, means I am unqualified for the rarefied air of Washington, D.C.
Thank you for your views. I was drafted for VN conflict, but could not serve. I am a civil engineer, and have a rudimentary understanding of strategy, terrain and tactics. I knew Iraq would be a tar baby, and I also understand why most of our forces are there and not Afghanistan. I also understand the senior officers are confirmed by Congress for promotion from a list of candidates. Their duties are assigned by the military, I hope. Are we fighting a war on multiple fronts, with an undermanned military (budget), led by commanders that are the result of a selection by a Congress with a 23 percent approval rating? Do you agree we are in deep trouble if we cannot use air power or special ops? — Larry
COL. HUNT: Larry, We are using air power and special operations forces. We are, however, not willing to truly unleash the “Dogs of War.” We have fought this war in both Iraq and Afghanistan in such an incompetent manner that they are now only solvable by political and economic means. The military options have about run out.
I must say that I assumed you were just another political hack hired by FOX News to be a bomb-thrower against the Democrats. I've read your Q&A and was I surprised! What no one seems to realize is that we won the Iraq war, in days, but we have lost, and I do mean lost, whatever you call what has happened after. We have nothing to be embarrassed, saddened or defeatist about (Sorry, Sen. McCain) because we have incompetents in charge. Both our friends and enemies know this. Thank goodness Bush and his ilk will be gone soon. Sadly, more of our precious sons and daughters will pay the ultimate price before then. Send Jenna and the other one to Iraq, or some of Bush's nieces and nephews, and see how long this absurdity lasts. It's much easier to send other peoples' sons or daughters to war. (Also, LOL at your characterization of Newt Gingrich!) — Donald
COL. HUNT: Don, Fair enough, but how about you telling me what your guys are going to do. You have to do more than hate Bush. We are in a war, and I get how massively screwed up we have made it, but it is a war nonetheless. So, I hope and pray that you and yours have more in your bag of tricks than Bush and Republican hating.
You said that you did not like Gen. Peter Pace or think he was the right man for the job. Maybe Bush thought the same. Now, you join the throngs of people who hate Bush. Shame on you! — David
COL. HUNT: Not liking Pace does not mean I hate Bush. I hate all incompetents that get people killed, Republican, Democrat and generals. My intention was not Bush-bashing, as I recommended someone to take Pace's place, like Gen. Jim Jones. Disagreeing with Bush and criticizing him does not make me or anyone else bad, or a traitor, or unpatriotic. Pace was Rumsfeld's deputy and later the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is partially responsible for this mess, yet you seem to want to give him and the President a pass? You know who did not get a pass … 38,000 American servicemen and women killed or wounded and tens of thousands of Iraq civilians.
I am a Vietnam vet with two tours in SEA, and why does Paris Hilton get more news that the passing of the best MIG killer of the Vietnam War, Robin Olds? This was one of the most decorated pilots in the war with medals such as the Air Metal with 39 bronze clusters. No new network including yours has had anything on this hero and a BG who was one of the guys and not a snotty snob like a lot of high-ranking officers are either retired or active duty. Please let your network know that this individual should be recognized. — Robert, MSgt.,USAF, Ret. (West Chazy, NY)
COL. HUNT: MSGT, Thank you for your service. I have heard of Olds, quite a guy. I will pass this on to Ollie North's “War Stories” producer. I cannot answer for all television on Paris Hilton and it is wrong, but you can vote by changing the channel.
I'm a retired 30-year Air Force colonel, and I could not agree with you more, less, or even those appear to be the three sides you are on in Gen. Pace's case. Look, the failed strategy is his. The failed public relations policy is his. The fact that the Air Force is downsizing during wartime while the Army can't make recruiting goals is also 'stupefying' his doing. Did you really expect the Sec. of Defense to announce that he was not going to re-nominate Pace because of these facts? You're a pundit and a politician; you know 'the rules.' Let us just celebrate at least that we will not have Pace to get in the way any more. — Dennis (Cheney, WA)
COL. HUNT: Dennis, There was someone who used to tell me “appealing to our better angels” was important. Sometimes if it walks, flies and squats like a duck … it's a damn duck.
I enjoyed your article and at the same time join you in wondering if we aren't sealing our own fates by turning everything political and wishy-washy. Our talk has to be PC, our positions must be ambivalent and our rhetoric must be soft and vanilla colored. I believe that in the 33 years since my discharge from our Marine Corps that my most enjoyable experiences were the recent Memorial Day celebration in the nation's capital (all the politicos had left for recess), a visit to the Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico and a visit to the Naval Academy at Annapolis and observe again an example of what duty, honor and loyalty really are made strong and washed clean with the blood of sacrifice. Back to target: I hope we aren't watching the fall of a "new" Rome as we appear to tear ourselves apart, polarize our people and misdirect ourselves in purpose and character. — Russ
COL. HUNT: Russ, Thank you for your 33 years of service. You are, of course, correct, we have lost our way. I also hope we are not a “new” Rome; but if we do not find our way we will become so.
I served my time in the Combat Arms Field of the US Army for 14 years. And I can say that I served with one major, Lawrence R. Clark, who always fit the mold as a war fighter and a natural born leader. Maj. Clark was the Operations S-3 at an 8' Artillery Battalion. He was a bundle of energy, a positive thinker and doer and he was never afraid to get down and dirty when the situation required. But sometimes I see senior leadership in the military as more political than driving down where the rubber meets the road. Maj. Clark was in his element when out in the bush with the Boonie troops, he thrived in that environment and displayed consistent leadership. I can't count the times he pulled me aside and offered me sound advise and groomed me for something larger. He involved the NCO's. It was nothing less than amazing to see him in action with a Battery Commander who was struggling, or with an overly aggressive Executive Officer. It was clear the Battalion Commander valued his judgment. In short, he led by example. To this day, 20 years later, I still remember him and what he taught me about making a Battalion Fire Direction Center work and respond like a well-oiled machine. My exposures to General Officers were almost non-existent, since I usually served in General Support Artillery Units so I couldn't say much. My question is this: Why does it seem that politics makes more and more of a role in determining leadership qualifications for senior positions? — Glenn (Cedar Rapids, IA)
COL. HUNT: Glen, Thank you for serving even if it was as a “Red Leg.” Your guy was/is a leader we all hope to work with, or for. There are two types of officers — those who look up to their boss and those that look towards their men. You had the latter, and they rarely make the big time — but, like your guy, they make all the difference.
I am very proud to have served under your command while stationed in Korea and Ft. Carson. You set a great example during physical fitness training and had a good sense of humor, which I believe is also a leadership trait. From past experience and from keeping in touch with buddies who are still on active duty, I would just like to say a lot of bad leadership and morale problems arise from self-centered and egotistic senior NCO, S1SG and SGM. As a former NCO myself, who spent most of my time in the field, I can attest that this is also a problem. You seem awfully harsh on senior officers, and I just wanted to point this out and thank you for your service. I, and others, feel the same way. — Roland (Hamilton, MT)
COL. HUNT: Ron, How the hell are you doing? Sure there are some slack jawed NCO's, but not nearly as many as there is in the officer corp. The problems in Afghanistan and Iraq are not because of poor NCO's, but more because of incompetent and piss poor officers, especially our senior generals. I hope you are well? Thank you for all you did for soldiers.
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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.