(Not a Teacher)
I think he means many of the troops deployed aren't in a combat MOS, and so, don't have the training to "go outside the wire" on patrols, searches, or convoys.
For the rest of the underlined parts, I'm just going to say that Mr.Carafano does not strike me as the most glib speaker. Let me rephrase some of it:
"The most important thing in this debate is not what a candidate will do when he becomes president -- which is irrelevant -- but what sort of character they have."
"Are they going to put what's right before what's easy?"
"I think what's important is people have to determine what that is and how what they want to do is different from that."
For #4, my answer is "yes" to both questions.
Student or Learner