Tonight on The Independents: 'Boots on the Ground'


Shrill. |||

What happens when you have an hour-long cable-TV discussion about U.S. intervention, only instead of the usual mix of Sabbath-gasbags and armchair hawks and doves, the conversation took place with military veterans? Tune into the Fox Business Network tonight at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. ET), and again three and five hours later, to find out. Spoiler alert: It's a helluva lot more real, funny, occasionally brutal, and frankly skeptical about war aims, politics, and funding than 95 percent of what you normally see on television.

Tonight's lineup on this special theme episode of The Independents includes:

*  Three-war veteran and former Army First Lieutenant Bryan Suits, now a KABC radio host, who will talk about the obfuscation surrounding the term "boots on the ground," and also the futility of turning the tip of the national spear into social-working nation-builders.

* Former Navy aviator and intelligence operations officer, and current Fox News correspondent Lea Gabrielle, who will offer some qualified support for President Barack Obama's military and rhetorical strategy against the Islamic State.

* Former Air Force Sgt. and current editor of Breach Bang Clear David Reeder, who will talk about the many different flavors of mission creep.

* Cato Institute defense/homeland-security research fellow Benjamin Friedman, who will talk about the problems associated with a huge military budget.

* Retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who will talk about how defense spending should be reformed to help improve the existing military and its missions.

* Iraq War vet and former Marine Dan Caldwell of Concerned Veterans for America, who will talk about whether he would still advise young people to join the Armed Forces, and what the veterans' perspective is on Obama's latest war.

It's a frank and illuminating show, and I hope you tune in. For a taste of what it might be like, here's the duck-bearded military/law enforcement trainer Kyle Lamb from Wednesday night's episode:

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