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Our rules of engagement are causing us to lose the war in Iraq, just like Vietnam. The idea of war is to kill more of them than they kill of you, and if that entails human collateral damage, so be it. By taking the high road, we will always lose, and we have proven that time and again. Our troops are being run through a meat grinder while we stand idly by, because the American people don't have the guts for a fight. What say you? I am trying to vote for the right leaders, and take the advice you’ve given in previous articles. But, what MORE can I do? I really can’t just sit and watch this all on the news without taking a stand. — Bob, Ltc. U.S.A. (Ret)

Col. Hunt: Bob, thanks for you service. Yes, yes and yes, the rules of engagement in both Afghanistan and Iraq will be written up as one of the principal contributors to our problems. We are beginning to re-learn the lessons from ‘Nam and World War II. I just hope and pray that it’s not too late. Bob, we may need another attack to finally get our attention. We are in dire need of another Grant, Marshall, Puller, Patton, Abrams or Emerson on the military side and a Roosevelt, Lincoln or even a Truman on the political side. Sadly, I do not see any. The military would never promote another Grant. Hell, he was a drunk! All he knew how to do was kill the enemy and win. Politically, we are in worse trouble, we do not have a leader in the group, and we, the people, will not vote.

Thanks for your service and thanks for getting the truth out about our military. I am a retired Marine and am very concerned about terrorism, as is everyone. However, I think we need to start looking at Russia and China. We have made drastic cuts in all areas of our military, and I think it is time to start rebuilding. Do you have any thoughts on this? Do the politicians have the willpower to spend more on defense? — Charlie

Col. Hunt: Charlie, thanks for you service there “Devil Dog.” Russia and China are scary apart, together they could be world beaters. They just held joint military maneuvers in Russia, the Russians just restarted strategic reconnaissance flights, and the Chinese have been upgrading their military for the past 16 years or so and stealing every secret we have. So, yeah, we should be looking at them both. Those in power here have not shown the guts or commitment for this terrorism fight let alone another cold war with Russia and China. I think we might need a service draft and more guys, like you, involved; we are in serious trouble

I am an assistant principal for grades seven through eight and supervisor of social studies at a school in New Jersey. My students and their teachers in the social studies department are looking to coordinate an event for Veterans Day in November. They would like to submit questions to soldiers stationed in Iraq regarding their experiences in that country and have one or two soldiers respond to their questions via satellite that could be beamed directly into each and every classroom here.

I think it would be a great Veteran's Day story by honoring soldiers currently stationed in Iraq by having their "real" stories being heard by over 1200 students.

Do you know how this initiative could be carried out? — Chris

Col. Hunt: Chris, what a great idea. Please contact the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office at the Pentagon. They will be all over this like a dog on a bone. They will help you coordinate this worthwhile event. Thank you for wanting to help soldiers; they will appreciate it and never forget your kindness.

Next year, China is hosting the Olympic Games, so they have to look like the good friendly host they need to be to make the games work, and not have anyone boycott them. The Olympics are being held in the same year as our presidential election.

I know we are still the greatest country and military in the world, but I think we could face several real serious fronts during the games. But, seeing the way things have been handled lately, I don't believe we would have the stomach to stop them. — Richard

Col. Hunt: Richard, the Chinese have not had a terrorism attack, they will lock down the games there, just like all the other countries in the world would do by using all the government’s assets. I do not think there will be an attack there. However, we are overdue an attack here, and for that we are not ready.

Can you please explain why, after almost five years in Iraq, the enemy seems to have access to an unlimited supply of explosives? Les

Col. Hunt: Les, there were hundreds of ammunition depots, containing the mountains of explosives and ammo that we thought were WMD. We did not guard many of them for two years, as we did not anticipate the need. So, the bad guys had free access. Couple that disturbing fact with the open borders with Syria and Iran for which we did not plan either and you get what we got. Much of the sophisticated explosives killing our guys now comes from Iran.

Thank you for your insightful book, On The Hunt which was recommended to me by another mother of a U.S. Marine. I haven't even finished reading it completely, but I felt compelled to write and tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and integrity.

When our son returned home last fall after serving in Iraq, we had difficulty believing that everything he was telling us was the truth. His entire company failed their initial psychological exam upon return, yet they did not receive any treatment. In January, he began at the bottom of the chain of command to seek help for his condition, and when he found no help, he continued up the ladder.

He called us one night in the end of March at 3:30 a.m. pleading with us to call everyone and anyone that we could imagine to seek help for his mental condition. When we finally connected with his gunnery sergeant, we were told that we needed to understand that they only have two psychiatrists on base at Camp Lejeune for 65,000 people. After they "lost" his records (not once, but twice), he finally began psychological treatment the second week in June!

Let's just say that his staff sergeant happens to be a real jerk, the kind that you frequently mention in your book. It's a small wonder that these fine young men lose faith in their leaders after what we have seen and heard. Less that one month after his arrival in Iraq, our son captured a high-ranking terrorist. He was amazed that we hadn't heard about it on television. We later found out that the terrorist had been released because he was a close relative to the governor in Iraq. Our son was credited with saving the life of his Navy Coreman and others (which he considers to be all in a days work). He also was given a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal with a combat distinguishing device that he earned when his unit was ambushed by approximately 20 armed insurgents.

If the Marines were to have their way about it, they would choose to simply discard him like a piece of used shoe leather, which by the way, is currently what his staff sergeant is attempting to do.

My question is this: What, if anything else can we do to ensure that our son will continue in the future to get the appropriate care that he needs and deserves? Thank you for your patience in reading this. It is truly reassuring to know that at least "a few good men" remain in our military. Once again, I salute your integrity! Thank you, sir, for past service and for continuing to serve us through your writing. Marine mom

Col. Hunt: Mom, your son is one brave guy. Many returning from combat suffer as he does. Write everyone’s name down who is involved and send their names to the local paper or the Washington Post that broke the story about the piss poor treatment our men at Walter Reed. You have to get this complaint to your congressman or senator and then tell us here to whom you spoke to, and if he does not get the help he deserves, then write us back and we will name names. There is not a single excuse for your brave son’s treatment. The Department of Defense has never been good at helping marines and soldiers with these type of injuries. This is the fault of the entire chain of command; you and your son deserve better.

You are familiar with Arab politics. What sense can you make of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Conveyance?

Jordan refuses to allow a 1/3 the distance project through Israel, and has the World Bank helping with a project that Jordan will control.

Jordanian officials have refused to communicate about this modern plan

This is not rocket science; going three times farther for the same cost and 1/6 the capacity does not make sense. Randolph

Col. Hunt: Randolph, the U.S. and Jordan are letting hatred and ignorance and corruption make the better of all in this deal. It stinks. No where does the following make more sense than the Middle East “all politics are local and personal."

We have both your books (and have actually read them), although, we were unable to find and purchase They Just Don't Get It in hardback.

Thank you for your service, patriotism and knowledge from your writings. When is your next book? — J. D. (retired)

Col. Hunt: J.D., my publisher and I have not figured that out yet, but thank you very much buying the first two. The hard covers you can get online.

Is it possible for Iraq's central government leaders to succeed in negotiating a lasting peace? After centuries of provincial rule, why would the Mullahs hand over their leadership to a central government? The only solution appears to be a division of the country into three parts, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. What alternatives do you foresee? — Wayne

Col. Hunt: Wayne, this is the Biden solution and it will be difficult but doable. Right now, the central Iraqi government, despite our success in the surge, is not governing. Only those with militias have any power.

Is a Russian military aircraft ahead of us? What’s going on? Phillip

Col. Hunt: Phillip, the Russians have lots of stuff ahead of us the AK 47 is considered by many to still be the best rifle of its kind in the world and it’s over 40 years old. The British, French and South Africans for example still have the world’s best armored wheeled vehicle, yet we built one from scratch. Military hardware purchase and use is seldom about which plane or gun is better, but rather which country has the most influence or which country wants to curry favor with which other country.

Colonel, has there been any leads to Syria taking in Saddam’s WMD? — TD

Col. Hunt: TD, this is an urban legend. If this were true then we should have invaded Syria, like we did Iraq. There was no WMD in Iraq since 1998. We had 1,500 intel types looking for it for two years after we took the place and the came up with next to nothing. There were no tons, nothing but a few shells that were very, very old. Saddam had plans or had once made the stuff but not when we took the place. Clinton's bombing and the UN inspectors probably got rid of most of the stuff.

The president says that "a loss in Iraq is a victory for Al Qaeda." I can't begin to envision Iraq as a separate, free, peaceful country. Can you define or explain when victory in Iraq could be declared? What would qualify as victory in Iraq? Even if some type of military rule is imposed there, won’t terrorists just go to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Iran? Robert

Col. Hunt: Robert, military victory was achieved almost five years ago when we took the place. Because this administration, led by Rumsfeld, made bad move after bad move after stupid move the country fell into what you see today four wars, one with Iran, one with insurgents, one with terrorists and one with militias. Now, the only real victory or success will be achieved with Political and Economic means not military. General Petreaus will tell you that victory is at least 10 years away.

I'm having a problem with the terminology of a "war on terror." Terror is state of mind or an abstract sort of thing, and I really don't see how we can fight a war against a tactic or state of mind or whatever it is. What we are really fighting are the Islamic radicals, fundamentalist or whatever. This is a truth we should not divert the issue by not recognizing who it is that has declared war on us, attacked us and killed thousands of our citizens. I'm thinking, if it came right down to it, Muslims will ultimately side with their radical Islamist brethren, and not with the free, Western World. What do you think about this? — Rick

Col. Hunt: Rick, you are right and I make that mistake all the time. We should be declaring war on the countries that support terrorism and on the radicals and fundamentalists that carry out the war. Moreover, we should be yelling from the roof tops that this is a holy war from the terrorists’ perspective.


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.