Military Questions Answered by Col. David Hunt

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I was obsessed with watching FOX News for the better part of four years after 9/11, waiting for the news that we had caught up with bin Laden. I've given up hoping that day will come. Why hasn't a $25 million bounty given us the Intel we need to locate and kill bin Laden? Will bin Laden and his No. 2 ever be brought to justice? — Richard

Col. Hunt: Richard, you might not like this answer. $25 million is not enough. Bin Laden is protected by the tribes in Wazirisatan, and Al Qaeda has gotten stronger since 9/11. Al Qaeda has also received more money from Iraq, and Pakistan military and intelligence services are not very good. Iraq has taken many of our intelligence and special assets away from the hunt for bin Laden and last, but by no means least, a total lack of political will and leadership on our part. Usama bin Laden has become Usama bin Forgotten, and I wish I had invented that name but I did not. He should be dead no matter what we call him.

I read your columns regularly and like the common sense I find in them. I would like to point out one thing that worries me and that might mitigate Rummy's decision in the Seal Team case you cite. If Pres. Musharraf falls because he's seen as too friendly to the U.S., what would replace him? We wouldn't want some radical Muslim group with nuclear capability. Musharraf might be a case of "the devil you know." Thanks and Semper Fi from a USMC Vietnam Vet. — Tom

Col. Hunt: Tom, thanks for you service and welcome home, Brother. Yes, what you suggest might happen. That is why covert action or denial operations like the one that was canceled are so necessary and Rumsfeld knew it. I just think he is the worst Secretary of Defense since McNamara for many of the same reasons.

The Taliban has S. Korean hostages. Their demands are for the Karzai government to release Taliban prisoners. They have already killed two hostages and threaten to kill more. So, what these Taliban terrorists are REALLY asking is for the Karzai government to kill three Taliban prisoners and another one at every call-to-prayer until the S. Koreans are released and they can certainly round up more Taliban prisoners, as-required, to keep the score at +1. This difficult action would also somewhat punish Karzai for setting that dangerous precedent in the first place! Am I just being stupid or too barbaric (or both)?! Speaking of which, shouldn't we ask Queen Elizabeth to loan us a few Ghurka troops for both Afghanistan and Iraq? You do a great job the all too FEW times FOX has you on, and I very much appreciate your views. — John (California)

Col. Hunt: John, you are on the right track and the Ghurka's are some of the best soldiers on the planet. On this business of hostage taking, it is a cottage industry. The problem is that many governments are paying to get their citizens back and none are even approaching the necessary brutality you are suggesting, which is why the industry is still growing.

It's too bad our so-called “leaders” don't have your guts, experience and real-world approach to fighting terror. The people we elected to supposedly protect us are so mired in political correctness and their own ambition that they will fail every time to make the tough decisions that are needed to win in war. It would be great to have, as you say, “proven men and women who understand how to fight, and support and lead those that actually do the fighting.” But do those people actually exist any more? Thank you for your service to our country! — Brad (Riverside, CA)

Col. Hunt: Brad, those currently in this fight mean well, they just do not have the experience to do what is necessary, or as Robert Kaplan has said, ”good men, trying to good have to know how to do bad.” Most in government will never ask for help like this or worse believe they need it.

Let's face it, most of the citizens in this country are following “American Idol,” not the real world. How do you expect them to "vote out" elected officials who are useless? How do you see this war turning out? How will this affect this great country in the long run? — Mike

Col. Hunt: Mike, you are right and that is very sad. I think that the upcoming presidential elections in this country have everything to do with the eventual outcome in Iraq, not what is going on the ground. I think we will be involved in Iraq for many years. I do think we should be fighting for a country whose parliament goes on vacation or whose police and military will not fight, all of that describes Iraq today. I think the real winner in Iraq is Iran.

Read your books, love your commentary on FNC. Thanks for your on-going contribution. As an ex-fighter pilot — retired to Wall Street — I wonder why we can't create a pool of ex-military combat-types who would volunteer to shut down the border from illegal infiltration. It is a national security problem and not just economic. Operating under strict ROE, there are enough of us out here who aren't past our prime who can still contribute. Any validity to the idea? — Dave (Dallas, TX)

Col. Hunt: Dan, thanks for you service, even if it was in the Air Force. I think your idea is right on the money. We have a great pool of retired military and cops, spies, doctors, even lawyers (God help us all). The current crop of those fighting this war, especially the senior leadership, have a definite need of our expertise based on real-world experience. I do not think they will ever ask for to do so would mean they would have to admit that they were not getting “it” done and that I do not see happening. When we get hit again they might be forced to ask.

You are so right. My husband was wounded in an accident in Iraq almost four years ago. You wouldn't believe the difficulties I have had to get adequate care for him. He is severely and profoundly brain damaged. I have managed to keep him home until now, but he can be very aggressive and since we have three little kids, he needs to go some where else. Well, since the VA denies that he needs nursing home care, although he has been diagnosed with dementia at a VA facility and in spite of being 100 percent totally and permanently disabled, I am forced to pay $2,000 out of our own pockets for an assisted-living place for him. My husband served his country faithfully for 18 years, six months and three days — and in two wars. He always told me if something happened to him, the government would take care of him and us. I guess, he kept his end of the bargain, but the government sure didn't. We have a good VA pension, Social Security and a small state pension, and we will not starve to death or lose our home. Soldiers, who have been hurt in a war, should not have to pay anything for their care and/or rehabilitation. My husband's great grandfather served in the World War I, his grandfather served in the World War II, his father in the Korean War, his uncle in the Vietnam War. I have three little boys and if it's up to me, none of them will ever see a day of service in the military. Thank you for standing up for the troops. — Brigitte

Col. Hunt: Brigitte, I am so sorry for your trouble and thankful for your husband's service. We suck at taking care of men and women who serve in this country. We may need a full scale revolt of some kind to fix it. Unfortunately, men like your husband who serve us so bravely are not the kind of men and do not come from the type of families who complain, but they should. I honestly think we do not care about soldiers after they serve and that is tragic and will eventually doom this great country.

Salute to you with great levels of respect and admiration. It disturbs me, as I'm sure it does many of us, when I read about the Marines and soldiers that are being tried and convicted of killings of so called "friendlies." I am sure some bad things are and have taken place with some of our troops, but I am deeply disturbed by the level of mental battle fatigue and constant precarious situations our troops are finding themselves in while simultaneously being over-extended beyond what Vietnam troops were and not being properly deprogrammed and given proper R&R. Add to this that we have JAG and other law enforcement entities monitoring our troops with a heavy thumb. It's bad enough our troops have been restrained from engaging the enemy as they were trained to do, but is it a surprise that some of our troops are breaking down given the level of ridiculous circumstances they have been asked to perform under? I mean, do you honestly believe that our troops would act this way or fall apart if they weren't being handcuffed and getting proper rotations out of the Iraqi quagmire while seeing too many of their buddies blown apart? It seems counter-productive to tell our troops to sustain a killer's mindset then to have to constantly discern whom the enemy is when he/she all look the same. — Jim S/C Disabled Navy Veteran, Aviation Type

Col. Hunt: Jim, thanks for you service, albeit as a Naval Aviator, oh well. You are, of course, correct sir. Handcuffing our troops has brought driven us into this mess. You and I both know we are much better than this.

I wholeheartedly agree with your column on how we treat our wounded warriors. As the operator of a residential care facility for the elderly in California I would add one additional point: Give each veteran a "super insurance" card that allows them to go to ANY medical facility or ANY physician or other health care provider, paid for by the government at full reimbursement rates, rather than make them travel hundreds of miles to a VA hospital. I have vets in my facility that cannot take advantage of their VA benefits because they can't make the two and a half hour journey on a bus to the Livermore, VA, nor are they well served by the VA "clinic" 20 miles away so they must retain a local physician at their own expense. A "super insurance" card that would allow them to simply seek local treatment and medications would solve most of these problems and would be far simpler than maintaining the vast network of medical facilities across the nation run by the VA. This type of insurance could easily be contracted by the government to a major insurance carrier that knows what they are doing and is already in the marketplace. This is such a simple solution I don't know why a politician hasn't picked it up and run with it. Maybe you can find a sympathetic ear... — Kregg (Turlock, CA)

Col. Hunt: Kregg, great idea, if we can spend over $500 billion in Iraq we can for sure spend the money necessary to take care of our veterans. Our national priorities are way out of whack.

I really enjoy hearing you speak on FOX News shows and I find myself agreeing with most of the things you say. Every day we are treated to news accounts of radicals fighting and, in some cases, sacrificing their lives for their cause. We never hear of any non-radicals fighting or sacrificing anything. Are all the non-radicals cowards? Do they not value their freedom? Why are they unwilling to fight or challenge the radicals? How long can we continue to defend people who are unwilling to fight? — Robert

Col. Hunt: Robert, there are some “non radicals” fighting just not enough. Here in lies the “rub” our soldiers are dying at an alarming rate for a country that to this date has not shown a willingness to fight for itself. I am of the mind that we should not abandon Iraq, but we should stop fighting for it. We gave them their freedom, now it's there turn to fight for it.

Read your article and am buying both of your books — “They Just Don't Get It” and “On The Hunt.” It is reassuring to know that there is someone else in this country that still is holding on to the values and beliefs that made this country great. Unfortunately, there are very few of us if any in Washington. I agree totally with you regarding the war in Iraq and the way it is being fought. I am not going to go into any verbose discussion. Let me just say that people today just don't realize that when there are bombs dropped, innocent people are going to be killed along with the bad guys. It always happens. That is something that is a fact of war. The panty waists in Washington, not having any experience in combat, actually believe that one can place a bomb in a manner so as to completely avoid innocent women and children. This, as you and I know, is impossible. There seems to be this underlying attitude among politicians that if there are any women or children in the vicinity of a terrorist, then we scratch the mission. Case in point, Bill Clinton and his opportunities to erase Usama bin Laden during his administration. — John

Col. Hunt: John, you are correct, and yes, Clinton did that, however, since 9/11 the Bush administration has done just a bad, and worse considering 9/11. We have lost our way in this fight; we are just not willing to the “hard” things necessary to even kill bin Laden. John, I wish that you were wrong, but wishing something will not make it so.

I never served a day in the military, but I have never had anything but respect for those who did. Regarding your article about Walter Reid, Amen, Brother! Maybe if our politicians (notice I did not say Democrat or Republican) would start running the country and stop running for re-election, we might make some good decisions that would change this country. It is time for a political effort (Party) based on planning, results and no bull. If it ever happens, much of the current generation of politicians will have to go back under a rock. I hear of the strongholds in and around the Afghanistan and Pakistan border, but cannot envision an environment that could escape our ability to detect, track and eliminate these people in large numbers. Is the problem only one of diplomatic and political barriers or is this really a stronghold that is too hard to penetrate? — Rick

Col. Hunt: Rick, there are not areas we cannot take, it is lack of political will that prevents our guys from going in there and doing the job. I am beginning to think we do not care.

Thank you for your advocacy of our mentally and physically wounded war veterans. Our son served in Ramadi, Iraq with the Marines. Since he returned, he has been more violent than ever. He recently decided the solution to a problem was to assault a person. He did and went to jail for it. He thinks he belongs back in Iraq. The emotional toll and need for repair is just starting to surface. We thank you for your continuing support of this incredible injustice. — Michael (California)

Col. Hunt: Michael, my God, hold your son in the palm of his hand. We have not paid attention to the injuries that your son sustained until recently. There are some very good people that can help him; I hope you have found some. How about contacting Duncan Hunter's office in San Diego? He served and has a son who is serving, he should be able to help your son. Damn, I hate to hear this stuff; he is lucky to have you. Please tell him for me, thanks for his service and that he is never 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.