Hunter: “Leaving the Battlefield Would be a Disaster for the United States of America”

May 1, 2007
Press Release

Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Republican Duncan Hunter (R-CA) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor during debate on the Democrat Leadership’s unsuccessful attempt to override President Bush’s veto of the flawed war supplemental spending bill:

“It’s important to interpret this debate.  I have heard speakers talk about redeployment and say that there is a lot of discretion that is left to the administration.  There is no discretion.  The dates of so-called redeployment are defined—start going out on July 1 or October 1. Redeployment means withdrawal.

“If our generals do not start redeploying—do not start withdrawing from the battleground—you can bet the Democrat leadership will pull them into hearings to ask them why they didn't saddle up their brigades, their battalions and their divisions and start moving them off the battlefield.

“Let's get this straight. This is about withdrawing from the battlefield.

“Listening to this debate and listening to the controversy and the statements by the Democrat leadership that have preceded this vote today, there is a constant theme—somehow American soldiers and Marines are victims.  They are victims of extended tours. They are victims of not getting enough health care.  They are people who have been victims in the war against terror.

“Let me tell you, I have seen the timelines that are given—the 270 days for Marines and the 365 days for soldiers.  And a number of our brave military personnel have gone through one, two, three and sometimes four tours.

“Our Americans, including my son who is deploying now for the third time, will not fail.  They will not crack.  They will not stretch.  They will hold.  And, they will carry out this mission against terrorists.

“We are right now in the second phase of a program that we have used for 60 years to stand up free governments around the world.  You can stand up a free government.  We have done it.  Secondly, you stand up a military capable of protecting that free government.  That's the second stage and the stage we are in right now.  Thirdly, we leave because America doesn't covet anything that another nation has.

“We are in the second stage right now.  It's tough.  And it's difficult.  This is a tough, difficult mission, but it is a mission that we can accomplish.

“The Democrat leadership does not have the power to stop the war against terror. All they have the power to do is leave the battlefield. That would be a disaster for the United States of America.”