June 24th, 2010
07:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Hunter suggests tension between military leadership, White House

California Republican Duncan Hunter, Jr is not shocked by the apparent tension between the military and the White House.
California Republican Duncan Hunter, Jr is not shocked by the apparent tension between the military and the White House.

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."


Filed under: David Petraeus • Duncan Hunter • JKUSA • John King USA
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Moderate

    Who's Hunter and why would I care about anything he said? What has he ever done for me or this country?

    June 24, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Just a matter of time before the Neo-Confederates serving the military industrial complex would try to use this as an opportunity to whine about Obama.

    How is the jail sentence working out for your buddy Republican Duke Cunningham taking bribes from the military-industrial lobbyists?

    June 24, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. em

    is this the guy who first talked about getting rid of citizenship by birth?? Why does anyone care what this nut thinks?

    June 24, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Hmmm oh look filed under "John King USA" or maybe they could just call it "John King the GOP magic map show." Duncun knows full well that the chain of command in the military is critical and he is just grand standing. If someone under McChrystal of Duncan for that matter did what McChrystal did they would be under court marshall.

    So is Duncan/John King saying we should leave Afganistan and not keep the Bush promise to the widows and orphans of 9/11? Is it just that its a Democrat in the White House?

    If McCain had won would America be any better off? I doubt it. The economy would have tanked, people would still be out of jobs, and McCain spent his time in the military first as a fly-boy and then as a POW. While brave he was never a military leader or stratigist. So move forward. And stop the bickering.

    June 24, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. The Big J

    Like he knows anything!

    June 24, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. thor

    I think at one time he was called by many Gen.BE-TRAY-US.So now he's expected by the administration and folks in the media to come to our rescue and save our leaders from complete defeat in Afghanistan.This shows what a complete failure this Commander of Deceit has been.

    June 24, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. unshrub

    typical republican! He doesn't actually do anything, except to wait around and critisize Democrats who try to improve things. These slimballs get worse all of the time.

    June 24, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Real Patriot

    So sorry, but all the Republicans have lost any respect I had for them. If you had at lease agreed with or praised the President ONCE, I might listen to you now, but nope. Not even once, my dear friend, Hunter. You are a right wing tool like the rest.

    June 24, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Aaron

    The tension should have come when his party lied its way into starting a war in Iraq. I doubt that he backtalked his superiors when he was active duty.

    June 24, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. Yawn

    Savoring that 15 minutes, huh Dunca. At the end of the day, you are just a congressman and make roughly 68K a year, not a senator, not a cabinet member, not a president...so call me when you have actually achieved something.

    June 24, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. Da Professor

    California Republican Duncan Hunter?
    Never heard of him.
    Do his comments surprise a thinking person? NO. He is, afterall, a Republican. Just one more fool with an empty mind.

    June 24, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. DENNA

    First let me express complete surprise that this Rethug is a war veteran. I thought their job was to send other people's kids to fight for this country and to get elected continuously.

    Now on to the "tension" between the military and the administration. McChrystal's mistake was not disagreeing with President Obama, it was disagreeing with him out loud and in the magazine article. His job is to do what his boss, in the case President Obama, tells him to do. As a military man, and a general at that, he does not have free speech rights. Military personnel follow orders, not question the commander. Good luck and God bless to General Petraeus and his aids. The American public want this war gone; we are sick of it. Follow President Obama's wishes and wrap it up. That is what we elected him to do.

    June 24, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Patrick

    He's right. I will never forget how the Democrats turned their back on our country during the Iraq war. When things got tough there wasn't a spine to be found in the Democratic party. Bush turned out to be right after all. Harry Reid should still be tried for treason for his "the war is already lost" quote. Imagine being a soldier fighting in Iraq and hearing one of your own senators say that, disgraceful in the extreme.

    June 24, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Another republican on the right-wing john king gossip/rumor/propaganda show – what do you expect?

    June 24, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Of course, Hunter has a right to his opinion. Everyone does! IF Hunter KNEW an ounce of U.S. History he would know that tensions between the Military and the Civilian government is not.......new. Duh.

    June 24, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  16. Soldier fighting a lost cause for a lost president

    File this under "Seriously, what were you expecting from people that hate the military?"

    June 24, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. rumrunner

    this guy is delusional to think that professional soldiers/public servants like gens petraeus and gates, and others like them hold petty grudges that would with making our country safer. it exposes his own pettiness, and immaturity

    June 24, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. sam

    Oh, yes the surge is working great in Iraq, we will be in both Iraq and Afgan for another 100 years.

    June 24, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. George

    I'm sure the guys with bullet wounds , amputations , dead friends and blood on their hands appreciate the past administration way more

    June 24, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Bob of Lompoc

    The "Surge" didn't work. We (the Bush people) just paid (cash) off the religious leaders of Iraq to tone down the violence, sent more troops at the same time, and claimed the "Surge" worked. Nada. Can't sell that to me.

    June 24, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. drjm

    You think with Obama's back ground the Military community would be better organized.

    June 24, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. ehwilson429

    the real problem here is simple.
    gates and Biden were both DRAFT DODGERS during vietnam.
    these two men are cowards and evaded personal responsibility.

    Biden evaded the draft FIVE times.
    his father Joe Biden, Sr was also a coward who left his job as a used care salesman and get a draft deferment by working for oil GIANT AMOCO.

    these cowards should have nothing to do with military decisions.
    they should be put in charge or sorting laundry at the WH.

    June 24, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. David Evan

    The problem with Republicans is what they oversimplify, either in reinventing history or addressing current and future problems. It's not that Democrats aren't guilty of this too from time to time, but the Republican's have made this their MO. I think everyone knows by now what the success of the counterinsurgencies both in Iraq and Afghanistan require: getting the people on our side. Yes this requires more troops, but in a different sense than just adding warfighters without the backing of the people. Many in and out of government questioned the Iraq surge because our critical mass of support from within the Iraq was dubious at that time. That lack of support is still our Achilles heal in Afghanistan, regardless of how many of our brave men and women in uniform we send there. It's likely that the Generals' issues and frictions are caused by differences of opinion in how to accomplish getting that support practically versus theroretically.

    June 24, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. The Weatherman

    This is why Vietnam was disasterous. The leftwing weanies did let the military do their job or give them FULL support.. Should Senators have been deciding which villages could get bombed or attacked during Vietnam?

    40 plus years later, we again have leftwing weanies trying to look cool and doing essentially the same blunders. General McCrystal should be commended for pulling this stunt the summer before the midterm elections. The man is a genius.

    It is obvious the situation was so bad he decided to take the sword for his troops and America. A politician would never have the guts or backbone to serve the country faithfully. Politicians do serve themselves......very well.

    It is time Obama spent more time listening to opposing view rather than show his arrogance and naive views of the world we live.

    The Weatherman

    June 24, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. JON

    And Duncan Hunter Jr. would know what a General was thinking. Oh that's right he ate dinner with them and they made sure he was kept in the loop on what they were thinking.......please. This is no more this a young repub. trying to get his name out there. He's seen and been in wars but he did not have STARS .

    June 24, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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