Skip to comments.[Duncan] Hunter supports president's plan for more troops in Iraq
Posted on 01/10/2007 4:15:08 AM PST by radar101
NORTH COUNTY -- President Bush's plan to raise the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by 20,000 will be linked to moving more Iraqi troops into the areas where most of the violence is occurring, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter said Tuesday.
The 2008 GOP presidential candidate emerged from an afternoon meeting at the White House with Bush and other lawmakers and said he will support the president's plan to put about 16,000 more U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital and raise the number of U.S. forces in Anbar province by 4,000.
Bush will outline his plan in a televised speech to the nation scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today.
Anbar, in the western region of Iraq, is where most of the insurgent attacks are occurring and where the Marine Corps has the lead role in providing security.
"This will be a joint operation with the Iraqis and the plan has all the markings of having been put together with a lot of deliberation and study," said Hunter, R-El Cajon, during a telephone interview.
The increase will boost the overall number of U.S. troops in Iraq from 140,000 to 160,000, forces that include several thousand Marines and sailors from Camp Pendleton, Twentynine Palms and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
The Pentagon will speed up deployments and keep some troops in Iraq longer than their scheduled assignments in order to meet the escalation. It was not immediately clear how many of the 20,000 additional troops will come from the Marine Corps.
In Baghdad, where the sectarian violence has pitted Sunnis and Shiite militias against each other, the city will be divided into areas of operation where U.S. and Iraqi troops will work jointly to quell the violence, Hunter said.
In Anbar, where a majority of the more than 316 Marines from local bases have lost their lives since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the Marine Corps will soon implement new tactics, Hunter said. He added that he could not be more specific because of the classified nature of the briefing he had received from Bush and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We'll see a changing Marine strategy in Anbar," Hunter said.
For the last several months, Hunter has been urging Bush to place more Iraqi troops into Iraq's hot spots.
"They will be moving three (Iraqi) brigades from the quieter areas and they will now be at the tip of the spear," said Hunter, whose 52nd Congressional District includes portions of Poway, Rancho Bernardo and Ramona.
Hunter's calls have been echoed by U.S. commanders, including Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force and the man with overall responsibility for Marine forces in Iraq.
Mattis and other generals also have said that placing more U.S. troops into Iraq without a clearly defined mission would be a mistake. Hunter said he believes the plan that the president will outline tonight satisfies the position of the generals.
A Government Accountability Report on Iraq released Tuesday seemed to support the call from U.S. generals for more Iraqi troop participation in that country's security. The report put the number of trained and equipped Iraqi security forces at 323,000 at the end of 2006, up from 174,000 in July 2005.
The U.S. has spent $15.4 billion since 2003 to train the Iraqi army and security forces and provide 480,000 weapons, 30,000 vehicles and 1.65 million pieces of gear such as helmets and body armor, according to the "Securing, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq" report.
Hunter said the appointment of Adm. William Fallon as head of U.S. Central Command in place of Gen. John Abizaid and Lt. Gen. David Patraeus in place of Gen. George Casey as the top American commander in Iraq should bode well for his plans to put more military pressure on the insurgents and sectarian militias. Both officers have been in the camp calling for more U.S. troops.
"Both of them represent the best the military has to offer," said Hunter, who was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee for the last six years. He remains the ranking Republican on the panel, but lost the chairmanship when his party lost control of the House.
Despite the Democrats' control of the new Congress that convened last week, Hunter said there is little the new congressional majority can do to stop the president's plan.
"The best thing the Democrats can do is to let the plan be put in place and see if it can accomplish the goals the president will lay out," he said.
As the pace of U.S. troop involvement picks up in the coming weeks, the 58-year-old Hunter will soon formalize his bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. His campaign committee next week will file the paperwork to establish a presidential exploratory campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission.
Roy Tyler, communications director for the Alpine resident's run for chief executive, said Hunter's official announcement of his long-shot run for president will take place in about two weeks in San Diego.
Hunter, who first won election to Congress in 1980 and is the longest-serving representative in San Diego County's five-member congressional delegation, spent the weekend in New Hampshire.
That visit followed trips to South Carolina and Iowa, places he will return to in the next couple of weeks. The three states have the earliest presidential primaries.
Contact staff writer Mark Walker at (760) 740-3529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This man is the best candidate available for next POTUS.
He has my vote.
Hunter needs to get his face on tv more.
My guess is neither the left nor the GOP elite want Hunter on TV.
Of the people who have announced, he's my top choice right now.
No one knows who he is, so he's got a big job ahead
You can let him know you appreciate his support....US Capitol.....toll free........1-800-862-5530
You are very likely correct in your estimation of reaction to Hunter.
I hear on the news that Gilmore (?) is going to run in 2008 because he does not think there are enough conservatives in the race. There has been one other "conservative", besides Hunter, who is considering running.
I was happy when I learned Hunter was in the race with the three RINOs. These other politicians (I do mean that disparagingly) jumping in, could muddy the waters considerably.
Yeah for a while...to stabilize the region...but I would have not had the grunts on the ground this long....we won...we are not here to make these savages a democracy...we should have laid waste to the region at the start, carpet bombing like we did during WWII. This should have been a PUNITIVE strike....The aftermath of 9/11 should have been like the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, ALL OUT WAR WITH ISLAMOFASCISTS PERIOD!!!
this kinder gentler compassion crap does not float in my view
So far, he is the best guy in the ring. Let's hope he can rise to the challenge.
"My guess is neither the left nor the GOP elite want Hunter on TV."
Right! The *Skull and Bones" Ivy League Elitists don't want an outsider ruining their Global domination party. This is the main reason I'm supporting Cong. Hunter.
As I clicked around last night, I caught him on Hardbowel. Matthews pretty much had his way with him. While I think he's the best conservative in the pack... his on-camera personna is somewhat reminiscent of a deer-in-the-headlights.
My guess is neither the left nor the GOP elite
Please ease up on the redundant statements.
Good for Duncan Hunter! The president needs people like him! He's got too many against him as it is!
No kidding! Who the heck IS he? I've just started seeing his name on Free Republic and have no idea who he is! I take it he's from North Carolina? (I admit, I haven't read the article yet!) :-)
Nope - California.
...new I liked this guy.
Oh, OK. Thanks. I checked out the link. He sounds promising.
Nope, true reform is free and unfettered contributions and full public reporting via the internet and paper filings.
If the people want to, they can outspend the moneybags, the average american spends more on beer and potato chips than they do on politics. If we all sent Hunter $25 he would toast Rudy McRomney.
The Internet has changed the equation, the only question is whether the RNC elite gets and understands the message from the base.
Duncan is right.
Private citizen? He's a Congressman from the San Diego area (El Cajon).
The CP is anti war and takes votes away from conservative Republicans.
Hunter is Republican and Conservative and for the war, one of many reasons I support him
David Dinkins:"Rudy as President is kind of frightening.My question will be, will I move to Bermuda"
I don't agree. I have watched Hunter dozens of times on TV through out the years and in person.
He is one of the best in getting the Republican Conservative message across than most in congress.
Hunter has been on National TV throughout the yrs.
Most who follow the news know who he is.
He is one of the 5 congressmen from San Diego. For the past several yrs. Chairman of the Armed Services Comm.
Vietnam war vet. Son, 2 tours in Iraq as a Marine.
Major supporter of stopping illegals.
Excellent Consrvative Republican
Guess who DOESN'T support the 'surge'?
CPUSA plans rallies Thursday.
Buckeyes say 'TROOPS OUT NOW'
Thursday, January 11th 2007 7.30pm
Columbus, OH USA
Different organizations and independent Ohio State students get together to debate political situation in Iraq and strategize to build for Jan 27 DC Protest. We have a bus already booked. So HOP ON!
Room 060 Page Hall, Ohio State Campus. Columbus OH
AntiWar Colombus International Socialist Organization-COlumbus Ohio Students for Democratic Society Libertarian Studies Organization http://www.myspace.com/osuantiwar
Very typical, the Constitution Party and Libertarians
joining the Communist Party, International Socialists
& SDS against. the War at this rally.
This is one of the dangers of Third Parties.
Thanks for bringing me up to speed regarding Duncan Hunter. I admit to not watching the news much. I get most of my news from Free Republic. I don't even get our local paper. I will follow the information on Hunter since I don't care for any of the Republican prospects so far. I guess I just don't pay much attention to what's going on in California!
I've seen Peter King (R) NY and Zell Miller slap Matthews silly when he tried that sh*t with them.
Hunter's great on the issues that concern me... but you have to be able to handle the camera(and pr*cks like Matthews) in order to win.
Hunter does very well on tv, so I have to wonder if Matthews and his staff were engaging in off screen sabotage, i.e. doing something distracting that viewers can't see or if he was just having an off day.
All Hunter lacks is name recognition.
You're right. He seems to be doing the right things, however, staying in the news. I think it's safe to say that, by now, most FReepers recognize the name "Duncan Hunter" and what he stands for. That's a good start, still a long ways to go.
You are spliting hairs.
My several relatives who have fought in Iraq and stil will be have no problem. This includes Navy Dr. with the 1st Marines.
I have relatives who fought in Europe and were killed even though HItler did not attack us but it was the right thing to do.
That's ok. You CP folks just sit back and my relatives and others will fight to keep your ass free.
Duncan Hunter is the best choice. I sure hope my party back him all the way instead of Rino Rudy.
I agree, and hope he does so. He is sounding refreshingly sane.
HUNTER STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT'S IRAQ STRATEGY ANNOUNCEMENT
* * * "Oppose Any Democratic Efforts to Cut Off the 20,000 Reinforcements" * * *
Washington D.C. - Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), senior Republican on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement regardnig the President's announcement of a new Iraq strategy:
"American troops in Baghdad, alongside Iraqi forces, have been engaged in a fierce battle with insurgents over the past several days.
"The United States, with the support of Iraqi leaders, has developed a plan to stabilize Baghdad and the al-Anbar Province. The President has told Congress that he intends to move an additional 6 brigades to Iraq for this operation.
"My own recommendation to President Bush has been to move the 27 Iraqi battalions presently in quiet areas of the country into Baghdad. Further, I have recommended that U.S. troops move to 'leverage' their positions, emphasizing advisory teams, intelligence, precision strikes and special operations; and that Iraqi forces take the lead in the proposed Baghdad sweeps.
"The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, has told me that part of my recommendation is being implemented in that nine Iraqi battalions from peaceful areas are being moved to Baghdad for this operation. Against this backdrop, the Democrats have announced that they will resist any reinforcements being sent into the battle zone. I will strongly oppose any such Democratic effort to cut off troop reinforcements or re-supply efforts into the Iraq theater.
"We are a nation at war. To fracture the U.S. government at this critical time will demoralize our troops and allies, and embolden our enemies. I support the Commander-in-Chief in this operation.
"I will continue to push for the acceleration of the military transition to Iraqis. This can be accomplished by rotating every Iraqi battalion through a combat tour.
"The operation will start with a U.S. battalion stationed with each operational Iraqi brigade in Baghdad. I will recommend to the President, Secretary Gates and General Petraeus that these U.S. embedded battalions be replaced with Iraqi battalions over the coming months, until Baghdad is exclusively occupied by Iraqi forces."
Yesterday, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) stated, "we cannot simply speak out against an escalation of troops in Iraq, we must act to prevent it." Hunter followed by stating his strong opposition to any efforts to cut off troop reinforcements to the Iraqi theater of operation.