Contact: Josh Holly (202) 225-2539
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) today urged President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to send at least 20 of the 114 Iraqi military battalions that are trained and equipped to the fight in Baghdad. Hunter and 28 House Republicans today sent a letter to President Bush encouraging him to urgently deploy Iraqi military forces into the heart of battle.
Chairman Hunter’s statement follows:
“This is an excellent opportunity for Iraqi military forces—trained and equipped by American soldiers and Marines—to display their new capabilities in battle.”
“Combat experience is gained by one thing—combat. There is no reason why Iraqi military forces currently deployed in relatively quiet regions of Iraq should not immediately be sent to the fight in Baghdad.”
“Combat experience will develop leaders at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. Beyond that, cohesiveness and adherence to the chain of command will grow from combat experience.”
“American trainers have spent thousands of hours and hundreds of millions of dollars training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces and many Iraqi military units have performed well on an individual level.”
“Now is the time to move the majority of the trained and equipped Iraqi battalions into the heart of battle.”