Washington (CNN) - Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., a veteran of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, told CNN Thursday he's not surprised there may be some tension between the military and the Obama administration.
"If you look at this administration, if you look at then-Senator Biden, then-Senator Obama, then-Senator Clinton, with the way that they went after Petraeus three years ago and said that that Iraq surge was not going to work, I think that the military commanders right now, the ones that have three and four stars, have a little bit of a - a burr under their saddle when it comes to this administration," Hunter told CNN's John King.
"These are the same senators who - who basically said that General Petraeus was incompetent three years ago. But now they're looking to him to win in Afghanistan."
Obama, Biden and Clinton were opposed to the 2007 "surge" of sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, an initiative Petraeus spearheaded.
Duncan, a California Republican, is the son of former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter, a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. The younger Hunter succeeded his father as the congressman from California's 52nd district in 2008, when the elder Hunter launched an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said it is not the military's role to cast doubt on the civilian leadership.
"We do not have the right, nor should we ever assume the prerogative, to cast doubt upon the ability or mock the motives of our civilian leaders, elected or appointed," Mullen said. "We are and must remain a neutral instrument of the state, accountable to and respectful of those leaders no matter which party holds sway or which person holds a given office."