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. JES

    That's what happens when you don't have a leader in th WH.

    June 24, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. cardog

    THis man is a Republican, need I say more? There is always tension between an elected administration and the military. Does that mean we can expect a coup?
    People who listen to the "Sky is falling" Republicans should be use to their outlook on everything from the economy ( they put us there) to the auto industry (remember President Obama took it over) to health care (there will be death panels for grandma) and President Obama has taken the Insurance industry over as well. Oh yeah, one more from a list of many. President Obama has to be held responsible for and being the cause of the Gulf oil leak.
    These Republicans are off the chart, but what is even more amazing is the number of people out there that believe all this garbage put out daily.

    June 24, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. Felonious Monk

    This is a stupid comment from a narrow minded rep. Do we actually think that a career military personel is going to hold a grudge against a senator? Against his president?
    These people are professionals, let's not take that status away from them for political points.

    The rule of civilian authority over the military is what this is about.

    June 24, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. THE OBAMA TRUTH

    IF YOU THINK THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE MILITARY HAS ANY FAITH IN OBAMA THE MONKEY ILLEGAL THEN READ THIS:

    On Wednesday the Obama administration took its first major step in a plan to ban all firearms in the United States . The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. By signing international treaties on gun control, the Obama administration can use the US State Department to bypass the normal legislative process in Congress. Once the US Government signs these international treaties, all US citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments. These are laws that have been developed and promoted by organizations such as the United Nations and individuals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The laws are designed and intended to lead to the complete ban and confiscation of all firearms. The Obama administration is attempting to use tactics and methods of gun control that will inflict major damage to our 2nd Amendment before US citizens even understand what has happened.

    Hillary Clinton just signed the law with NATO while all Americans were sleeping. Now AMERICA WAKE UP before our country is gone.

    June 24, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. Steve

    A Republican criticizing President Obama. Move along folks, no news here.

    June 24, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. John

    Representative Hunter attacks the Democrats but, what is his motive?

    Republicans hate working class and middle class Americans, why else would they support off shoring jobs and denying unemployed Americans ?

    The Republicans hate middle class America – Vote Democrat without any other reason other than than the republicans hate you!

    June 24, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. The reality is...

    "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."

    Yeah, it's more like "incompetent Democrats" that don't know what to do so they call in the brains; who would of thought they could humble themselves?

    June 24, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Same old politics from the republicans. Yes, some of these generals have a problem with htis administration. Unlike the Bush administration, the current one is not looking to occupy a country, they want a general who is going to take care of business and get our people out of there.

    June 24, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Roger from CA

    I don't care if every member of the Obama administration systematically slept with the wives of all the military brass while in Congress, the simple fact is that Barack Obama is the duly-elected President of the United States, who, under Article 2 of the Constitution of the United States, is the civilian Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the members of the military as sworn to follow his orders to the letter without question.

    It is FUNDAMENTAL to our Constitutional system that our military be subjugated to civilian control. Otherwise, we risk military dictatorship.

    June 24, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Sure Hunter, except that most of the Generals, with the exception of the brown-nosing Patreaus, were AGAINST the surge.

    If I was Obama, Patreaus would be gone tomorrow, yes some people would be shocked, because the brown-noser Patreaus was presented as the MAN WHO KNOWS HOW TO WIN by the Bush criminal organization...

    ...when in reality Bush criminal organization couldn't find another General that would go along with them 100%.

    Like I said, Patreaus would be in the retirement line tomorrow if it was up to me. Cowardly brown-noser.

    June 24, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Richie

    This type of talk is treasonous.

    June 24, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  12. Rusty

    Yep, another dumb previous warrioir that forgets the generals answer to the president! Stupid representative.

    June 24, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  13. La Piovra

    The contempt for civilian leadership which has been a feature of certain cadres has been a threat for at least fifty years. Eisenhower warned against it; Seven Days in May spoke tellingly against it. McChrystal has shown unusual perpescuity in using press leaks to force adoption of his policies. He is clearly appealing now to the audience that believes in keeping the White House white. To what end? Let us ask ourselves about that

    June 24, 2010 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. Joyce

    Sir, you are not honoring the US. We need to put up a strong front against our enemies. You have given them aid and comfort by insinuating there is dissent in the US government/military regarding this war!

    June 24, 2010 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. Hendrik

    Hey you clown, you do not want us to forgot Biden's, Obama's, and Clinton's position on Petraeus but you surely want to forget the idiot that got us into the war there. Quit slamming Obama for blaming everything on Bush and perhaps you won't be slammed for dredging up old position.

    You are a tool. What were you in Afghanistan and Iraq, a captain or a major? Surely not someone who speaks about war with any authority.

    June 25, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  16. Randall in Torrance, CA - First of all, this guy is a Republican, so he is lying

    Senators have a different stake and view of the military than the Commander-in-Chief, so this is not a flip flop or change in their opinions. Hunter is just a GOP mouth piece because they are powerless with no place to go except to defunct Wall Street, the longest U.S. war ever: "I-Wreck", and to their failure to regulate the oil industry when they were in power for 8 dark years under the tiny brain of Jarge Bush.

    June 25, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
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