tv Fox News Reporting FOX Business May 30, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
theirs is a war story that deserves to be told. i'm oliver north. good night. a great week, we havo go. a great week, we havo as hot spots arise around the world, our military is powering down. >> most of you in the army know is that the army is reducing its size. >> i worry about the capability and capacity to win in a major fight. >> with the armed forces getting new marching orders -- >> male rotc cadets were pressured by the military to walk around in women's high heels. >> i found that entire incident just kind of bizarre. >> is the new u.s. military ready to face new threats? >> you're sending the message to the rest of the world you're basically retreating. >> fox news reporting. "rising threats, shrinking
military." here's bret baier. >> the iwo jima memorial reminds us of many things. first of course, of the uncommon valor of the troops but it also reminds us that it can be a dangerous world out there and our military never knows when it will be called upon to travel overseas and accomplish a mission. and it can remind us, as well, that as much as we may desire peace, there's no replacement for a military that is strong and ready. >> let us pray. ♪ eternal father, strong to save, as we bid fair winds and following seas to the fighting 56 -- >> september 2015 we're witnessing a military funeral. not of a person but a navy friday inaugurate, the uss simpson is decommissioning. >> there's a feeling of sadness
to say good-bye to a ship as important to the profession as all the rest that have gone before her. >> the simpson was the last u.s. warship to engage in ship to ship combat in 1988 during "operation preying man tis." three vessels and at least two small boats sunk or very severely damaged. they must know that we'll protect our ships and if they threaten us, they'll pay a price. >> not that long ago, navy had many of this class of frigate. now they're all decommissioned. it's not just the navy that's saying good-bye to all friends. in march 2014, the army bid farewell to the warrior helicopter, a workhorse of their air cavalry in iraq and afghanistan. >> all the pilots will be gone. all the aircraft will be gone. it's only going to be in the history books that people are even know the role it played. >> in the air force, the
president has capped the number of f-22 stealth fighters. far short of the number originally envisioned. >> our budget is a zero sum game and if more money goes to f-22s it is our troops and citizen who is lose. >> these actions reflect a trend. numerous military programs have been scrapped, including the combat search and rescue helicopter, the army's future combat vehicle program, the navy's next generation cruiser and several missile defense systems such as the third site missile defense plan for poland and the czech republic. along with this down sizing, is a major reduction in the troops themselves. for instance, the army's active force is expected to drop to the smallest since before world war ii. 450,000 soldiers. >> we have cut the military to its lowest levels, yet we are facing a world that is the most complex environment we have faced since at least the end of world war ii.
>> retired three star general michael flynn ran the defense intelligence agency during the obama administration. >> frankly, the united states of america is in a less strong position today because of the readiness and the size of our armed forces. >> i spoke to robert gates, secretary of defense in the last years of the bush administration and the early years of the obama administration. he told me president obama promised him there wouldn't be any significant changes in the military budget for a while. overall, did he keep to his word? >> well, i think that began to fray, fray may be too gentle a word. >> before too long, gates found himself cutting hundreds of billions from the defense budget. and that was only the start. gates was informed the president wanted to announce even more cuts. >> over the last two years,
secretary bob gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. i believe we can do that again. >> what was your reaction? >> well, i guess i'd have to say i felt double crossed. after all those years in washington, i was naive. >> to many, the cuts weren't about economic efficiency so much as a strategic change in the role of the military. you told president obama staffers that the defense cuts send a big strategic message abroad. the united states is going home, cut a deal with iran and china while you can. >> i think overall it has had that impact. you're sending the message to the rest of the world that you're basically retreating. >> later you meet with president obama and you tell him the way to compensate for force cuts in the next war is with blood. more american kids will die because of our decisions. what was his response to that? >> i think he acknowledged it. what i was pitching at a minimum was the world doesn't seem to be getting better.
before you head down a path of deep cuts in defense, why don't you take it kind of slow? it was one of those things where i lost the argument. >> i think that he sees the military actually as something that is more dangerous to the world and i think that he looks at us -- i actually do. i think he looks at the united states military and sees it as a threatening application around the world than actually as a useful tool. >> how much more dangerous do you think the world is now than it was seven, eight years ago? >> i think more dangerous. far more doing rus. >> the obama administration has been tightening the belt of the military. is this being done to match a slimmed down version of american foreign policy? we'll look at that when we return.
our diminished military didn't come about simply due to cost cutting measures. some see it as part and parcel of this administration's particular view of america's place in the world. >> the next first family of the united states of america. >> on the night he was elected, barack obama promised a different sort of foreign policy. >> the new dawn of american leadership is at hand. >> it didn't take long to see this new leadership in action. on march 6th, 2009, secretary of state hillary clinton pressed a reset button with russia. promising new era of better relations. and on june 4th, 2009, president obama gave a speech in cairo promising a new beginning with the muslim world. >> tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many muslims. >> he had a confidence coming in as president 2009 that he could
alter fundamentally our relationship with the muslim world. >> joe lieberman was chairman of the senate committee on homeland security from 2007 to 2013. >> unfortunately, i think the message he sent was that the united states was no longer going to exercise its leadership of the world which incidentally through democratic and republican presidential administrations from the end of the war right up until this time had been the great guarantor of security and prosperity and freedom in the world. >> jeffrey goldberg, national correspondent for the atlantic who interviewed barack obama on his foreign policy tried to explain the president's approach. >> he refers to the washington play book, the washington playbook is something happens in country "x" and therefore we have to send 50 cruise missiles to deal with that problem and what he wants to do, he says, is break washington of the habit every problem overseas comes with a potential military solution.
>> it was clear he had a new take. but the question remained, what would president obama actually do? he was against the war in iraq. but his military people warned against a hasty withdrawal. >> it was really important that we try to maintain a military presence there in order to make sure that the gains that had been achieved with a lot of blood by the united states, as well as iraqis, that those gains could be maintained. >> leon panetta was president obama's secretary of defense from 2011 until 2013. >> that's why the pentagon supported maintaining a presence there. >> the key to preserving an american military presence in iraq was to negotiate a stay behind force. the president would have to take the lead. >> the only chance we would have had for an agreement would have been his intensive involvement, personally, and that didn't
happen. >> and so, on december 18th, 2011, the last convoy of u.s. troops pulled out of iraq. while all that was happening, the arab spring was spreading throughout the arab world. demonstrations and riots and civil wars of people challenging their leaders. on january 25th, 2011, egyptians quaer gathered in cairo's tahrir square to protest the policies of egyptian president whose know mubarak, the u.s. ally. >> i've always considered egypt to be critical to our ability to provide stability in the middle east. >> when it became apparent mubarak had to go, the military urged caution. but the president pushed for his immediate removal. >> literally, the entire national security team
recommended unanimously handling mubarak differently than we did. and the president took the advice of three junior back benchers in terms of how to treat mubarak. one of them saying, mr. president, you got to be on the right side of history. and i would be sitting there at the table and i say, yeah, if we could just figure that out we would be a long way ahead. >> i don't think he believes that generals should be trying to influence policy making. >> on february 11th, mubarak resigned. >> the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace. >> the happiest day in the white house as it relates to the middle east probably the day that mubarak left. >> in june 2012, egypt elected a new president, mohammed morsi of the muslim brotherhood. in february of 2011, egypt's next door neighbor libya also went up in flames. the country's dictator moammar gadhafi was cooperating with the u.s. since the invasion of iraq
in 2003. many voices around the world were demanding he be removed from power. once again, the president's top military advisers counseled caution. when he sided with those that urged him to support the overthrow of gadhafi his secretary of defense resorted to extraordinary measures. did you actually tell your subordinates to limit the amount of information they gave to the white house on military options available in libya? >> all i said was, i don't want any military plans or options going to the white house i haven't seen. >> i mean, you write it more bluntly. you say don't give the white house staff too much information on the military options. they don't understand it. >> pretty much. >> a little more blunt. you had concern about that. >> absolutely. >> about running military operations out of the white house. >> yeah, yeah. the experience that we had had with that in vietnam didn't work so well. >> on march 19th, 2011,
president obama citing humanitarian concerns ordered the american military to lead a coalition to confront gadhafi. october 20th, 2011, the libyan leader has captured and killed by a mob. eliciting this response from the secretary of state. >> we came, we saw, he died. >> then there's syria. on august 20th, 2012, after the syrian regime led by bashar al assad threatened to use chemical weapons against its enemies in the country's civil war, president obama put him on notice. >> a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. >> the president ordered the military to prepare to strike if assad did, indeed, cross that red line. on august 21st, 2013, the assad
regime used the chemical weapons to kill hundreds of men, women and children. how would america respond? president obama ordered his military to stand down. >> they used chemical weapons against their own people and we did nothing. we demonstrated weakness instead of strength. >> we'll have more on the results of president obama's foreign policy later. but when we return, we look at how he's transforming our military from the ground up.
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>> when you're standing side by side in life or death situations next to other warriors, you have to know from the bottom of your soul that those warriors are going to stand with you. >> mike waltz a former special forces commander as well as special adviser to vice president cheney is referring to what is sometimes called the warrior culture. >> watch each other's back. >> you have to have that bond. anything that interferes with that bond needs to be treated very, very, very carefully. >> which is why some critics of barack obama oppose and fear the way the president utilizes the armed forces. they feel he's more comfortable with social change than military command. >> this president has imposed a political agenda on the military. >> elaine donnelly is president for the center of military readiness. >> he's done it by redefining the military as a civil rights institution rather than the institution that defends its
country. >> you wrote that president obama showed real passion on one issue concerning the military. his determination to overturn don't ask, don't tell. what did you mean by that? >> this was one area where i saw him become angry when things weren't moving as quickly as he wanted them to move. i didn't see that anger at the lack of progress on really any other issue that i dealt with, certainly. >> ending don't ask, don't tell was one of the first social changes on the military by the obama administration. it was hardly the last. recently at ft. gordon, georgia, hundreds of soldiers summoned to a powerpoint presentation about white male heterosexual privilege and the need to discuss oppression and the patriarchy, and then an exercise required of some rotc cadets just last year. >> we have heard some interesting things. the fact that male rotc cadets
were pressured by the military to walk around in women's high heels in order to done in stlat their disapproval of the "rape" culture. >> i found that incident kind of bizarre. when i was a rotc cadet, i was doing push-ups and running until i threw up if my boots weren't shined to the level they needed to be. >> even more controversially on december 3rd, 2015, the obama administration removed all restrictions on women serving in ground combat units. >> will be able to serve as rangers and berets, s.e.a.l.s, marine corps infantry, air force parajumpers and everything else previously open only to men. >> by opening that door you're simply saying if that's something you're interested in doing, here's the standards. >> congressman tulsi gabbert, a member of the hawaii army national guard served two tours in iraq. >> if you meet those standards, then you should be allowed to serve there, whether a man or a woman. >> critics say it's not that
simple. >> the idea that men and women are interchangeable, especially in that much higher level of the combat arms it's utterly absurd. >> the sergeant eaton served with the second marine expeditionary force in fallujah. >> the standards lowered formally or informally. there is no such thing as gender neutral. the sexes are not neutral. >> congresswoman gabbert contends that by lifting the combat restriction the military is simply recognizing reality. >> women serving incredibly in our military for a very long time. we've seen over a decade ago a woman who's actually in the national guard was awarded the silver star for her bravery in close quarters combat. >> a lot of men in combat say w been fighting in combat for decades enit's just not true. i was out there with the infantry on the outskirts of fallujah and we would frisk women for explosives.
we were in danger all day every day we were doing that. that's not the same as hunting the enemy where he lives, house to house. cave to cave. mostly on foot. >> critics also point out that under the new law women will be ordered into combat. whether they want to be or not. >> i'm sorry but america needs to think about their daughter in a hand to hand fight in a cage no rules against an isis figter. >> when the army did an official survey, the results came back that 92.5% of the army women surveyed wanted nothing to do with combat assignments. >> what concerns me with this administration in dealing with this warrior culture, so critical to the success of our military, they don't understand it and oftentimes they mistrust it. if you turn the military into kind of a social experiment rather than a fighting force that has to meet certain standards and have a certain level of readiness to defend this nation, that's incredibly
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so far, we have seen how the obama administration at least according to its critics views the military in a different way. and those critics maintain this new attitude has already cost us. one thing we know the obama administration has changed about the u.s. military -- the words they use to describe certain activities. what did you make of the fact under the administration the pentagon required to refer to military actions against islamic terrorism as overseas contingency operations? >> yeah.
>> and that the actual acts of islamic terrorism were to be referred to as man caused disasters. >> it completely exemplifies the approach of this administration that we're not even going to call the enemies what they are. which are islamic terrorists. >> critics say such language is part of the political correctness this administration requires of the military. some think it's harmless. others wonder. >> at ft. hood in texas, on a clear day in 2009, major nadal hassan, a doctor in the u.s. military, stood up on a table, shouted allahu akbar" and then began to fire. he killed 13 and wounded many other. it was a shocking event. >> staff sergeant alonzo lunsford, one of the 32 american soldiers hassan wounded that day. >> i blinked. he discharged the weapon.
the first round went in right here. above my left eye and spun me around. and i hit the floor. he came up on me and shot me again. >> as the sergeant lay still in a pool of his own blood, he watched major hassan train the weapon on 21-year-old army private francesca valence. >> he was gearing to shoot her. she said "i'm pregnant, i'm pregnant." he fired anyway and her last words was "oh moorks my baby, my baby, my baby." >> private valez and her baby died that day. a horrific event and some believe a preventable one. >> hassan, the ft. hood terrorist killer, was communicating aanwr awlaki, the radical cleric that was in yemen. >> in one of the 18 e-mails exchanged, hassan told him, i can't wait to join you in the afterlife.
lieberman, who led the senate investigation into the ft. hood massacre, suspects the blame may reside in the environment prevailing in obama's military. >> political correctness can't lead you to close your eyes to a clear and present danger to the u.s. and to your colleagues in the u.s. army. >> that air of political correctness only thickened as the obama administration insisted that what happened at ft. hood was not an act of islamic terrorism, but rather, an example of, quote, workplace violence. >> how could you say a terrorist murdering 13 americans was workplace violence? that's just ridiculous. >> as for sergeant lunsford, he's still hurt by the government's lack of frankness. >> what hurts more than the wound itself is a sense of betrayal because a sense of betrayal is when you wake up, it's there. when you sleep, it's there. it's something that never leaves me.
it never leaves me. >> the divide between the obama administration and many in the military only widened over the handling of the case of army private bowe bergdahl. bergda bergdahl, a man the obama administration labeled a p.o.w., was released by the taliban in exchange for five of their top leaders. the ceremony announcing his release was supposed to be a celebration. >> this morning, i called bob and jenny bergdahl and told them after nearly five years in captivity their son bowe is coming home. >> what was your reaction when president obama hosted bergdahl's parents at the rose garden ceremony? >> i was pissed, absolutely. in my view, bergdahl should have never been labeled a p.o.b. >> did the men you served with consider him a soldier who had been captured or a man who had deserted his platoon? >> we knew immediately that day the circumstances of the disappearance.
he deserted the post. we were mad as hell about it but we didn't diminish the efforts to get him back. >> waltz ordered to lead special forces teams to search for bergdahl. >> it was the number one priority in the entire theater of afghanistan. and the taliban immediately knew it and they began feeding false information into our informant networks to try to bait us into am bushes. one of my special forces teams went into an afghan compound and thought bergdahl might be and the entire thing rigged with explosives. by the grace of god it didn't explode but those are the situations we found ourselves in night after night after night for months. >> president obama responded to the controversy by dispatching one of his top aides to praise bergdahl. >> he served the united states with honor and distinction. >> when president obama sends out national security adviser susan rice and she says that, in fact, bowe bergdahl served the united states with honor and distinction -- >> well, i about threw my television out into the yard.
both me, his fellow platoon mates, my men, my fellow green berets that nearly died looking for him were outraged. it shows how tone deaf this white house can be to how military members think and feel. they take words like that, served with honor and distinction, very seriously. >> frankly, the white house probably should have made no statement whatsoever. >> leon panetta told us he was dismayed by how the white house handled the bergdahl case. >> i don't mind, obviously, the effort at negotiations, but you don't just walk in and say, oh yeah, we'll give you five bad guys. these are individuals who killed in many cases our own soldiers. what assurance do we have that they're not going to wind up blowing up american innocents? >> demoralizing? >> incredibly demoralizing and to the men and women in uniform, as well.
when you're out there in harm's way and your commander in chief releases the taliban's top five draft picks, it sends a bad message to the troops and the afghan allies to be serving alongside and encouraging. >> how has this new vision of the u.s. military playing out across the world? that's next. you've finally earned enough reward miles on your airline credit card. now you just book a seat, right? not quite. sometimes those seats are out of reach, costing an outrageous number of miles. it's time to switch... to the capital one venture card. with venture, you'll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. and when you're ready to travel, just book the flight you want, on any airline and use your miles to cover the cost. now that's more like it. what's in your wallet? the call just came in. she's about to arrive. and with her, a flood of potential patients.
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earlier we saw the diplomatic overtures the obama administration made when it took office. today, we can see how those policies played out. the president had promised a diplomatic reset with russia. even scrapping a missile defense system in europe as a conciliatory gesture. after his re-election, he pulled america's main battle tanks out of germany, tanks that had been there since world war ii. all eyes were on vladimir putin to see how he'd respond. and, in february 2014, putin sent in troops to seize ukraine's crimean peninsula. >> in europe, we envisioned a different kind of relationship than what has actually emerged. we didn't anticipate that russia would illegally annex crimea.
we didn't see that kind of destabilizing activity. >> next, putin's forces began menacing ukraine itself. >> the fundamental point of dealing with a bully like putin is you cannot allow bullies to get away with what they want to do. >> but the president rejected calls for a muscular response, instead announcing limited sanctions. >> i believe there's a path to resolve the situation diplomatically in a way that addresses the issues of russia and the ukraine. >> i think the president should have taken some very strong steps to make very clear to putin that this was unacceptable. he should have provided arms to the ukrainians. >> but he didn't. and today, russia is emboldened, threatening to spread its sphere of influence even wider. secretaries panetta and gates and others told us that you can let bullies get away with
bullying or you pay a price. >> i was talking about ukraine. with the president. and he told me, very bluntly, that ukraine as a non-nato country living in the shadow of russia will also be subject to russian meddling and domination and what he's doing there is basically signaling this is not worth the united states' investment. >> then there were barack obama's overtures to the muslim world, where he hoped to change the images of america. he had pulled american troops out of iraq without a stay behind force that had been recommended by his military advisers. pe, enmmteetd ss cry niall ferguson, a professor of history at harvard university, remembers talking to veterans of the war. >> they had turned it around. to be told the mission was being aborted must have been a shattering blow.
>> the iraqis, of course, some found another cause. >> many of them wound up eventually working with isis. to create the force that ultimately came back and invaded that part of iraq. that they held. and hold today. >> in egypt, president obama had supported the overthrow of america leaning hosni mubarak and his administration applauded when a new president was elected. the muslim brotherhood's mohammed morsi. >> i have come to alexandria to reaffirm the strong support of the united states for the egyptian people and for your democratic future. >> well, this was hilariously wrong in the egyptian case because the muslim brotherhood turned out to be the most extreme group capable of winning
large numbers of votes. >> once in office, morsi granted himself unlimited powers and imposed a constitution based on sharia law. egypt, the administration seemed to welcome the ouster of mubarak. >> yeah. >> and more morsi. >> egypt was a classic case of, you know, hope, hope and change not actually coming to fruition. >> egypt descended into chaos. morsi, in turn, was overthrown in a coup. libya had been the one nation where president obama was willing to take action. with an intervention supported by the u.n. soon, dictator gadhafi was gone which only lead to the question of what happens next? what happened next was libya fell into chaos, a fact brought home tragically by an attack in benghazi which killed four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. soon, warring factions including isis and al qaeda were fighting
for power. >> it was a complete mistake to go in to libya. i was in a key job in the administration and i can't sit here and tell you what was -- what were our goals for that operation. i have -- i really don't know. to eliminate gadhafi? that was a severely dumb decision. >> he said very bluntly to me about the libya intervention, quote, it didn't work. >> wasn't he warned by people like secretary gates about libya's tribal history and dangers of taking out gadhafi? >> there was a huge fight in the administration. turns out the gates side was right but i think obama now is on the side of, you know what? i should not have let myself be pressured into this intervention and that influenced the way he dealt with syria the next couple of years. >> syria, you will recall, where president obama drew a red line and then it was crossed. the president and his advisers agreed on an attack plan but he pulled back at the last moment.
>> i use the term stunned because i was stunned by that. >> chuck hagel served as president obama's secretary of defense from 2013 to 2015. >> it reversed a very comprehensive, complete decision that had just been made a few hours prior to that and the president had made the final decision and a few hours later we're pulling that down. we're reversing that. >> secretary hagel told us the president's decision damaged america's credibility. >> it was all over the world, our allies would ask me, how can we have confidence in whatever else he says? >> it's an old principle that the president should be very careful about drawing lines. but once he drew that line, then the united states is obligated to enforce that red line. >> for a lot of people in washington, a bunch of other places around the world, this is
a weak moment for the united states. a weak moment in his presidency. what he told me was not only was it not a weak moment, it was a, quote, proud moment for him because it's the moment that he broke with the washington playbook. >> so he doesn't see it as weakness at all? >> he sees it as a moment of great prudence. he sees it as the application of smarts. he does not see it as weakness. he sees it as strength. >> but if it was a proud moment, others ask, what has it produced? >> in the end, what do you have? you have a middle east that will be devastated. more suffering. more killing. more distrust. more hatred. >> so the man who presented himself as the peace presided over much more violence in the muslim world than what happened under his predecessor. >> when we return, we talk to men in uniform and ask them if we're prepared.
>> it was one of several such will such incidents, and it was very much like the drill you're seeing right now. >> because of the vast distances here in alaska. >> this colonel pilots this s-22 stealth raptor, fully armed and ready to go it a moment's notice. >> we can get closer and identify whatever is out there. >> what they have seen out there, russian c-2 barrier bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons. these encounters have become common enough lately, that error n norad places red plaques on the wall when there's an intercept. >> russia represents the
greatest threat to our national security. >> russia is the only country on effort that has the ability to destroy the united states. >> we're confronting a russia that has now entered a new chapter in the cold war. >> last summer, rush that september five warships to alaskan waters. >> we had to prepare for any event that might happen understanding that the president would be here at that time. >> so we moved forces around so that we were able to track them with the utmost confidence that we would know where they were at that time. >> when the russians were offshore, the president visited alaska. >> this threat is very much in the present. >> it wasn't talking about a military threat. >> capable of disrupting life as
we know it. >> in china, builds up its land and sea forces, the pentagon is reviewing it's ability to cut back up to 71% of an airborne paratrooper brigade based in alaska. >> every senior governmental official that comes up here knows that this is a vital part of the army. >> our senior leaders are having to make tough decisions in the environment we're in right now. >> but such decisions are all part of our newer smaller military, in it's newer, les intrusive role. to neil ferguson, there's a lesson in all of this that we're all right starting to learn the hard way. >> the lesson is when a great power withdraws the conflict is
most likely to escalate, and that's what's happened, and it is indeed a sobering one. >> the army has put off its decision to cut the 425 by another year until another president takes off what kind of a world will the next president, he or she face? >> the president president will face a world that is more challenging than any president that i have served. >> this is about whether or not we can promote a world that ultimately can share in the values that the united states is all about. if the united states doesn't provide that leadership, nobody else will. >> i think it's very fair to say that president obama is a retrenchment president, he doesn't want the u.s. to overcommitment. if you're obama you argue, hey, the military is in a lot better
shape than when i got it, because i don't have troops in afghanistan and in iraq fighting wars that are unwinnable and not that important. >> the readiness of our forces to deal with great powers of war, with one of three countries, we're talking about china, russian, iran and north korea. >> we're talking about a war that will be far greater than we have in the middle east. >> given everything that the president of the united states has been told about the complexity and the danger that economists in the world today, stop the bleeding that you are causing to our armed forces. >> the u.s. has been involved in nonstop military action abroad for more than a decade and a half. and americans are widely thought to be war weary, but we all know it is still a very dangerous world. our first president, george washington famously warned his
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tonight on war stories. they were a young band of brothers facing unspeakable hell in the battle for iwo jima. >> the most intense battle of the war. ? find out where 22,000 japanese soldiers walked to their deaths. what happened to is six boys that was captured in the world's most immortal was it staged. the questions that lingered for more than half a century. uncommon valor