Washington, DC--Today, U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced legislation to require that women register for the selective service. The legislation, titled the Draft America’s Daughters Act, requires registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties. Hunter is joined by U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke in introducing the bill, which comes on the heels of recent statements by the leaders of the Marine Corps and the Army that women should register for the draft.
“It’s wrong and irresponsible to make wholesale changes to the way America fights its wars without the American people having a say on whether their daughters and sisters will be on the front lines of combat,” said Hunter. “If this Administration wants to send 18-20 year old women into combat, to serve and fight on the front lines, then the American people deserve to have this discussion through their elected representatives. The Administration made its decision to open all combat specialties without regard for the research and perspective of the Marine Corps and special operations community, or without consideration or care for whether the draft would have to be opened to both men and women. This discussion should have occurred before decision making of any type, but the fact that it didn’t now compels Congress to take a honest and thorough look at the issue.
“It’s unfortunate that a bill like this even needs to be introduced. And it’s legislation that I might very well vote against should it be considered during the annual defense authorization process.”Read More
Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Duncan Hunter made the following statement:
“Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Guelleh leads a corrupt and repressive regime and his undemocratic actions, in addition to his cozy relationship with China, remain cause for deep concern. President Guelleh’s recent announcement of his intention to seek an unprecedented fourth term followed by a violent crackdown on political opposition is just more evidence of his oppressive tactics that have continued for too long. Also, China’s expanding military footprint in Djibouti will seriously affect our own counter-terrorism operations in and around the Horn of Africa—which is sure to remain an area of great strategic importance to the U.S. for well into the future. The U.S. should demand that President Guelleh step down after his third term expires in 2016 and that he no longer obstruct Djibouti’s pro-democratic movement.”Read More
For as long as Barack Obama has been president, the U.S. military has been a staging ground for social change. The incorporation of women in ground combat units, without much consideration or care for its impact, is just the latest example of an administration bent on using the military to advance its priorities regardless of consequences to mission readiness or combat effectiveness.
The next step in this process requires that each of the services submit their plans to the Secretary of the Defense, which only the Army has done so far, at which point Congressional review is sure to intensify. As it does, we must not write off the perspectives of seasoned military leaders and operators who might take issue with the integration plan, even though the White House, in its eagerness to implement its agenda, already has.
First a little history: In 2010, as the Pentagon weighed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a survey was ordered to measure and signal support or even indifference to a change in policy. The survey results were predictable given the politics of the situation and the pressure from the top, and the survey was showcased as if full evidence that the military, despite various naysaying leadership factions, was eager for change.
Now several years later, the military is confronted with the challenge of integrating women in combat specialties. For infantry units and other roles that are primarily tasked with locating and destroying the enemy-- to include special operations-- opening these roles to women would signify not only a major cultural shift, but it could undercut the cohesion and operability of warfighters at the tip of the spear.
The Marine Corps understood this. So they did the responsible thing and commissioned an independent, peer-reviewed study to determine impact at every level. None of the other services followed their lead, which explains why the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were so quick to fold in the face of White House pressure. When the Marines recommended keeping combat specialties closed to women, the findings of the report were immediately shot down as illegitimate. The Secretary of the Navy even went as far as to insult the men and women of the Marine Corps.
Likewise, the U.S. special operations community issued a report of its own, which was derived from internal surveys and focus groups. The report stated that, “overall, 85 percent of survey participants opposed letting women into their specialty, and 71 percent opposed women in their unit.”
The concerns and data-driven analysis of the Marine Corps and the special operations community alone would typically be enough reason for pause and more thoughtful consideration. But much different from “don’t ask, don’t tell,” these survey results and report findings were either swept aside or discredited because they contradicted the White House’s political agenda.
Evidently, to the White House, the findings within reports and surveys are subjects of convenience. They only matter when they conform to the broader agenda, otherwise they’re meaningless. The dismissal of the Marine Corps and special operations community in the gender integration process is proof of this fact.
It’s no wonder why the military views the president and his leadership team as so out of touch with their priorities. Of course, there’s no disputing the fact that women have served honorably, and many have experienced combat situations over the course of campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, but opening infantry units and combat specialties presents a much different challenge. It’s not that doing so is impossible, but if it’s going to happen, it needs to be done right.
As a Marine Corps officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, including in Fallujah, I have a deep sense of respect and appreciation for anyone who is willing to step forward and wear a military uniform—man or woman. In fact, roadside bombs have no gender preference, neither do bullets. So all military personnel must be adequately trained for their mission and be prepared to fight back, always. But in the infantry and other specialties, this is different than training to fight on foot as part of small cohesive units that experience combat with knives and bayonets, or bare hands.
While the Army saw the first two females graduate from its Ranger school, the Marine Corps has yet to graduate a single female from its officer infantry school, even though there have been many attempts.
What cannot happen — as many are rightly concerned will — is that the services will be forced to lower various specialty standards, in order to remain “gender neutral.” That is something the services must resist at all cost—as Congress should too.
It’s imperative that each job maintains the highest standards and continue developing the highest quality personnel, regardless of gender, quotas or any other benchmark.
The significance of this process requires more thoroughness and evaluation than what’s been given so far, including whether women will now be eligible for the selective service. That alone is sure to be an issue of contention. It’s also an issue the White House didn’t care to weigh.
The White House evidently picks and chooses who it listens to when it comes it comes to the military. But if survey results and data mattered in the effort to reverse “don’t ask, don’t tell,” then why is the same attention and respect not given to the concerns put forward by the Marine Corps and the special operations community when it comes to opening combat specialties?
They are among our fiercest fighters and it’s foolish not to take their concerns seriously.Read More
Washington, DC--The Air Force today informed several of its instructor pilots involved in the Laughlin texting controversy—referred to as Miley-Gate—that their aeronautical orders will be immediately reinstated. U.S. Representatives Duncan Hunter (CA-50) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) intervened in the case, after learning that several instructor pilots were wrongfully accused and punished for illegal drug use due to suggestive personal text messages that were recovered during an unrelated investigation. It was determined, through a review process ordered by the Air Force Chief of Staff, that allegations of drug use are unsubstantiated.
Representatives Hunter and Kinzinger made the following statement after their respective conversations with the Air Force Chief of Staff this morning:
“While it’s our belief that the initial action taken against the pilots by the Air Force was unjust, we have been impressed with the seriousness and speed by which these cases have been corrected. Overall, we are content with the outcome and commend the Air Force for doing the right thing. General Welsh demonstrated quality leadership and sound judgment throughout this process—and we are grateful for his personal attention to these cases.
“We do remain concerned, however, with the parts of the military justice system that seem to permit the unjustified seizure and misrepresentation of personal text messages—and we intend to address this issue. It’s important that this doesn’t happen again.
“We wish the pilots all the best in their flying careers and thank them for their service.”Read More
When I first met Jason Amerine, it was hard not to be impressed. He’s got the right stuff. His resume — flush with the type of things that would make a Hollywood movie producer drool — isn’t too bad either.
In politics, trust is important and often what a person has done says a lot about who they truly are. In this case, Amerine is a war hero. It’s a characterization he loathes and will never attribute to himself, but I will.
So of course I was on board to help save American lives when he came to me to talk about the problems with our country’s policy on hostages. I committed to giving my best effort to change the U.S. government’s approach to recovering Americans — civilian and military — held captive in warzones.
Amerine was first tasked by Gen. John Campbell — who is now leading the ground war in Afghanistan — to develop plans to recover Bowe Bergdahl. Nobody in their right mind thought the State Department-induced and -led five-for-one prisoner exchange was a good idea.
Amerine quickly determined that not only could he recover Bergdahl, but he could also secure the release of other American captives without firing a shot. He also spotted inherent dysfunction and conflict within government. Our response was quick. I wrote to former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel twice. He called me to say he agreed that these problems needed to be solved. He told me what he planned to do and who he would task to do it.
In that same span of time, Jason was getting close to making something happen, but it was the Federal Bureau of Investigation that first took offense to his efforts. Not the Army. The FBI argued that hostage recovery — in a warzone or not — was entirely under their purview even if the agents in charge of certain cases never stepped foot in Afghanistan. And forget that Jason had personal relationships at the highest levels of the Afghan government as well as other close and well-placed friends in the region. None of it mattered to the FBI.
So what did the FBI do? They “informally” suggested to the Army that it look at Amerine for sharing classified information. They needed Amerine back in his lane, and the quickest and easiest way to do that was to sideline him through an investigation. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, honestly, because this type of stuff happens every day in government. People are always trying to protect their turf at the expense of others.
What I had a problem with is what the Army chose to do once a complaint of sorts was made. They could have talked to Amerine, who had the full support of his immediate leadership, which in turn had full visibility into what he was doing. Internally, there was a disagreement on whether to investigate Amerine, but one Army general who has a personal beef with me couldn’t let it go and insisted that an investigation was warranted. So Army leaders folded. An investigation started.
I appealed to everyone in the Army that I could and so did other members of Congress. Former Army Secretary John McHugh wouldn’t even return a phone call. Soon after, Jason filed a complaint with the Inspector General. In his complaint, he laid out the entire situation, from our work together, to his work behind the scenes. The Inspector General’s office, doing as they should, relayed the document for a determination on the classification of its contents. The Joint Staff determined that nothing in the document was classified.
Even with that determination in hand, the Army refused to budge. So they began looking anywhere else they could. Soon, investigators were several steps removed from the original allegation. They wanted to find something. They had to find something.
Meanwhile, the White House was motivated by the facts to change hostage policy. And during that time, I successfully led an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, now law, which requires the creation of an interagency hostage coordinator. This is thanks to Jason Amerine.
The Army didn’t care. There was also a certain level of gamesmanship that began. One of Amerine’s lawyers was left in the dark for far too long. Amerine’s pay was halted. He was called in for fingerprinting and criminal processing. Should we pretend the halted payment was a clerical error? And should we pretend the fingerprinting was necessary? No way.
Through it all, Amerine came out the way he went in, with his honor and reputation intact. And a recent report from the House Armed Services Committee provides even more validation of all of Jason’s great work. With one foot out the door, Jason was even awarded the Legion of Merit, a fitting capstone to a long and distinguished career.
Recently, I read an article on War on the Rocks by a former Army lawyer who tried to tamp down any criticism of the way the Army handled things. He argued that certain Army leaders are being unfairly demonized. This left me unswayed. If you want to play politics where politics shouldn’t be played, you’re going to need a thicker skin. Stand by your judgment to investigate, that’s fine, but don’t try to convince me or the rest of the audience that the investigation into Amerine warranted a year of the Army’s time, attention, and resources — or that the investigation was warranted in the first place. The Army needs to be smarter about investigating the complaints it receives. After digging into this, I can assure you that they should have known from the start that what the FBI sent them about Amerine did not pass the smell test.
There was also intervention by POGO and Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley. Thank goodness for their collective efforts. They too saw exactly what I did — a system that was leveraged by an outside force to retaliate against an honorable soldier and war hero. That same system, instead of protecting Jason, was then mishandled from within. Whether it was all due to a problem with me or with Amerine, that’s now irrelevant. This could have been settled with a simple conversation.
Isn’t that what someone like Jason Amerine deserves? For all his service, for all his sacrifice, an investigation that lasted almost a year was viewed as suitable treatment for someone who did the right thing every step of the way. So while some officials are worrying about demonizing certain Army leaders, what they should really start thinking about is how not to demonize brave soldiers who are the backbone of our military.Read More
Yes, I vape. On occasion, I might even smoke a real cigarette.
Through my military career, including three combat tours, I even experienced chewing tobacco.
Now that I vape, does it mean I am one step closer to dying than say, someone who might drink too much, eat too much red meat or live an all-around unhealthy lifestyle?
To vape is to smoke an electronic cigarette, for those who don’t know. An e-cigarette is different from a regular cigarette, mainly because it does not contain tobacco. E-cigarettes contain a liquid that is vaporized—hence, the word vape—and inhaled. It might taste and smell like tobacco, but it’s not.
It’s true that vaping isn’t as sexy as smoking old-fashioned cigarettes. Generations of Americans were brought up smoking traditional tobacco products and to them, vaping may appear to be nothing more than a fad, set to eventually burn out. They’re wrong.
The reason I vape is simple: It’s so I don’t smoke cigarettes. I vape knowing that I’m not inhaling tobacco. Most importantly, I vape because I believe it could save my life.
There are millions of Americans like me, who are choosing e-cigarettes over their traditional counterpart. Now the Food and Drug Administration wants to force me and millions of others to revert to cigarettes through the issuance of new regulations. What the FDA is proposing is a date of February 15, 2007, to require approval for e-cigarettes, even if they are already being sold.
Not so bad, right? Wrong.
To comply, any company that manufactures e-cigarettes must submit an application, to include test results on health risks.
Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Wrong again.
The problem is that most e-cigarettes didn’t exist before February 15, 2007. So if the FDA gets its way, not only will modern day e-cigarettes, with all their advancements and improvements, no longer be available for purchase, but thousands of small businesses specializing in the sale of vaping pens and accessories will be forced to close their doors.
Also, whatever products did exist before 2007—which people are sure to continue buying—will lack all the improvements that have transformed e-cigarettes into a more acceptable alternative. Other consumers may choose to go back to real thing.
There’s no science behind the FDA’s proposed date. It’s completely arbitrary. This is not to say that a grandfather date shouldn’t exist, maybe one should, but there’s no other motive behind the FDA’s date than to deny Americans a product that is becoming a suitable replacement to cigarettes.
If the FDA won’t change the proposed grandfather date then Congress must—at least to the date a regulation is issued. Pertinent legislation has already been introduced in the House and discussions are underway to possibly include a date change in forthcoming omnibus legislation.
It’s hard to imagine images from past, of soldiers storming beachheads with vaping pens in their mouths, men in workshops and factories billowing clouds of vaporized smoke, or men and women in bars and social gatherings talking to each other as they vape. But this is 2015—and surely, had the technology been around then, we’re sure to see much of what we see today: Americans turning to a product that reduces their urge to put a cigarette to their lips and keeps tobacco out of their mouths and lungs.
The FDA should wise up. And if their true goal is to reduce cigarette use, then imposing a prohibition of sorts on e-cigarettes is senseless. Then again, maybe the FDA is counting on a surge in lighter sales to account for the cost—personal and financial—of their ill-conceived regulation.Read More
If American allies are given a choice when they purchase military weapons, it’s a sure bet that they’ll look to buy American every time. The U.S. military has the most technologically advanced fighting force in the world and it’s no wonder so many of our global partners clamor for the cutting-edge weaponry that sets our defense forces apart.
This is the case now, but the technology gap is closing in some areas. At a certain point, the Obama administration’s persistent refusals and denials to transfer U.S. weaponry abroad will lead to an even greater expansion of foreign military sales, especially from the Chinese. This is apparent already in the area of unmanned aerial systems, or drones. While the U.S. maintains a slight advantage in drone capability and production, the failure of the State Department to do business on this front has created a new market for China. And China is seizing the opportunity.
An obvious example involves equipment requests from Jordan, which is on the front line in the war against the Islamic State, or ISIS. In fact, Jordan’s interests in destroying ISIS coincide with our own. The asset most sought by the Jordanians, as shown by their direct requests, is the Reaper drone. With the Reaper’s range and firepower, Jordan would be able to more effectively strike Islamic State fighters deeper in enemy territory and with far less risk to its personnel. Jordan could better control its borders and support additional combat needs as they arise.
Clearly, Reaper transfers to Jordan would constitute a win-win: Jordan acquires the resources and capability it needs to fight an enemy on its doorstep, while the U.S., in supporting a critical ally, would continue taking the fight to ISIS, as well as and secure market ownership and access — which also happen to be of deep interest to China and its drone industry.
This wasn’t near enough for the State Department. Jordan’s requests for Reaper were outright denied. So what did the Jordanians do? They turned to China. They turned to Israel.
Now the Chinese are arranging the sale of their drone, the Caihong 5, a Reaper equivalent that would otherwise fall under the same constraints imposed on U.S. drones. Reportedly, Israel is also providing two of its Heron drones. When asked about the rationale for denying Jordan’s request, the State Department stated very simply that loss of market share is no concern. Complete nonsense.
Even the head of Air Force acquisition agreed. On the heels of the Dubai Air Show, Bill LaPlante said the U.S. should act more quickly to allow allies to buy American weaponry, further citing the market threat posed by the Chinese. He cited drones specifically, saying, “Guess who’s [in Dubai] selling stuff? I don’t know. China?” … “Our partners are saying: even if [a Chinese weapon] doesn’t work, I can buy theirs, even if it doesn’t work well and works about a third of the time. It’s still worth it. Those guys are at war and it’s existential for them.”
My point exactly.
The State Department is unlikely to change its position on Jordan’s drones request, even though it should. The fact that the U.S. is losing this opportunity, as well as the security, market share and economic benefits that come with it, is indicative of a bureaucracy that is constantly contradicting itself and impeding results.Read More
Washington D.C. - U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Marine Corps veteran, made the following statement on the retirement of Lt. Col. and Green Beret Jason Amerine:
“On Friday, Lt. Col. Jason Amerine retired from the U.S. Army following a long, honorable and distinguished career. I first came to know Jason years ago while working on an issue unrelated to hostage recovery, but it was our work together to improve the system and process to recover Americans held captive that truly defines Jason’s character and integrity. He was committed to leaving no American behind, and his relentless commitment and pursuit to save American lives is a testament to his selflessness and courage.
“When we took on the fight we did, I had no idea that we would encounter so much resistance within government, to the point that the FBI and certain leaders within the Army began to retaliate against Jason for the progress that was being made. Without Jason, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel never would have appointed Mike Lumpkin to coordinate the Bergdahl recovery—in the hope it could overcome the State Department-led 5-1 swap. Without Jason, I believe we would not have been able to keep pressure on the White House to initiate a hostage policy review. And without Jason, a major provision in the NDAA—to implement necessary improvements to hostage policy changes made earlier this year—wouldn’t exist.
“Through it all, what’s most frustrating is that the FBI refused to work with Jason—and it’s my firm belief that failures to safely recover Americans held captive in hostile areas is a direct result of that refusal. What’s also frustrating is that some senior Army leaders—including General Mary Legere—refused to give Jason the respect and opportunity to explain what we all knew was true: the FBI wanted Jason out of the way. The easiest thing to do was whisper an allegation to the Army, and the Army took the bait, investigating Jason for reasons that were unsupported by any of the facts. That investigation continued for too long, and too many threats were made. But after it all, the Army did the right thing and cleared Jason of any wrongdoing, and allowed one of its decorated heroes to retire. And before walking out the door, Jason was pinned with a Legion of Merit—an award that is a fitting capstone to his distinguished career.
“I’m honored to know Jason. I’m honored that he entrusted me to collaborate with him. And I’m grateful for all those who stood by his side—including my Senate colleagues and their staffs.”
Another tireless defender of Jason Amerine was the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). Following Friday’s ceremony, POGO released the following statement:
“For nearly a year, LTC Jason Amerine, a true American hero, has been under criminal investigation for speaking to Congress about the U.S.'s totally dysfunctional hostage recovery process. When anyone brings concerns of wrongdoing to Congress they are supposed to be protected under the law. But in fact, it took Jason assembling his ‘last guerrilla army’ of Congressional supporters, POGO, and a few courageous military officers acting behind the scenes to prevent a court martial. Rep. Duncan Hunter's leadership was pivotal in this effort. The Pentagon IG was supposed to protect him from retaliation, but failed in their duty spectacularly. Current whistleblower protection laws also provide little help for the military. Now that Lt. Col. Amerine has been awarded the Legion of Merit and is retiring honorably from the Army, it is time to get his mugshot, fingerprints and DNA removed from the criminal database and tackle the organizations and laws that failed him.”Read More
Imagine for a moment that you are serving in the U.S. Army and deployed to Afghanistan, and on your base there is clear evidence that child rape and other human rights violations are occurring at the hands of local Afghan police commanders and military officials.
You have already reported the crimes and nothing has been done. Now you are standing face to face with a self-admitted child rapist and he’s laughing in your face—telling you to get lost.
What do you do?
That was the situation facing a group of Green Berets in Afghanistan, led by Captain Danny Quinn and Sergeant First Class Charles Martland.
There is no policy that requires our soldiers to look the other way, but, clearly, the fact that Quinn, Martland, and others have been punished for intervening in such cases of abuse shows exactly how our military leadership has decided to handle these cases.
In 2011, Quinn and Martland received reports that an Afghan woman was severely beaten by an Afghan commander when she went looking for her son. Turned out her son had been kidnapped, chained to a bed and repeatedly raped by that same Afghan commander.
Quinn and Martland had experienced this before—twice, in fact. Two other commanders received no punishment from the Afghan government for the rape of a 15-year-old girl and the honor killing of a commander’s 12-year-old daughter for kissing a boy. And as Martland said, "I felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our ALP to commit atrocities."
So Quinn and Martland confronted the commander. He laughed in their face, told them he would not stop, and suggested they find something else to do with their time.
So Quinn picked up the commander and threw him on the ground. Martland did the same.
In doing so, they conveyed to the commander, loud and clear, that the abuse of children—especially in the presence of U.S. forces—won’t be tolerated.
In a single confrontation, Quinn and Martland were able to do what the Afghan justice system and our own military commanders could not. They sent a message in a language and terms he could understand and wouldn’t forget.
For doing the right thing, Quinn was immediately removed from the front line and shown the door by the Army.
Martland was also relieved from the same outpost, but he is now fighting to save his Army career after 11 years. Because of his actions, Martland was reprimanded by the Army -- at the direction of General Christopher Hass -- and given a blemish on his record for “a physical altercation with a corrupt ALP commander.”
The Army stated he lacked integrity.
Even though Martland did not need to apologize, he did. He committed to self-improvement, to show the Army that he could continue serving. And in 2014, he was selected as runner up for the Special Warfare Training Group Instructor of the Year, competing against over 400 Senior NCOs.
This is the type of warrior and leader that deserves to be involuntarily removed from service? I think not.
This is one case where better judgment must prevail. Quinn and Martland were reprimanded because they were told it wasn’t their place to intervene and they should properly observe Afghanistan’s cultural and relationship practices.
There is no policy that requires our soldiers to look the other way, but, clearly, the fact that Quinn, Martland, and others have been punished for intervening in such cases of abuse shows exactly how our military leadership has decided to handle these cases.
A decision on Martland’s future rests with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, whom, I am told, is fully aware of the many appeals on Martland’s behalf. I have to believe that he’ll do the right thing and put one of our most elite and ethical warriors above an admitted rapist.
Deciding in Marltand’s favor, given the circumstances of the case, is the quickest and most effective way for the Department of Defense to show it won’t tolerate abuse and human rights violations of any kind.Read More
Soon after Islamic State propagandists released a video in February of a captured and caged Jordanian pilot being burned alive, the Obama administration pledged full support to Jordan—a critical Middle East ally threatened by the terrorist army of Islamic State, or ISIS. But the administration has failed to live up to that commitment.
Despite repeated requests and impassioned pleas, the administration has refused to sell Jordan the drones—specifically, remotely piloted Predator and Reaper aircraft—that will allow deeper infiltration into ISIS territory to conduct surveillance and strikes. These systems, as U.S. operations against al Qaeda in Africa and elsewhere have shown, are crucial in fighting terrorists.
Why Jordan, an important U.S. ally, is being denied these systems is a puzzle. On its flank are Syria and Iraq, two countries largely overrun by ISIS. Jordan also shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Israel, which makes it a buffer of sorts between the Jewish state and its enemies. Like much of Europe, Jordan is struggling to deal with Iraqi and Syrian refugees, now 10% of its population and growing. If Jordan is overrun by ISIS and its extremist allies, the destabilization of the region would accelerate.
The reasons to support Jordan with drone technology could not be more apparent. What might be causing the administration to hold back?
The export of drones is most often restricted under the Missile Technology Control Regime—a voluntary agreement among 34 countries intended to prevent the proliferation of technology capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. While unmanned systems are “licensed for export only on rare occasions,” the control regime doesn’t forbid the export of drone technology. And if ISIS’s threatening the stability of much of the Middle East and a massive refugee crisis spilling over into Europe doesn’t qualify as a “rare occasion,” what does? The Obama administration and its successors are free to allow sales of unmanned aviation vehicles to Jordan or other U.S. allies.
The administration’s hesitation has weakened its influence in the region and created a vacuum that is being filled by others. China recently unveiled its version of the Reaper drone, the Caihong 5, capable of carrying bombs and missiles and traveling up to 2,100 miles. Jordan has expressed interest in buying the Caihong 5 if the U.S. refuses to export the Reaper. Recent news reports say Israel has agreed to sell drones to Jordan, specifically the Heron TP, although Israeli officials haven’t confirmed the sale.
Damage has been done to U.S. relations with Jordan, but the simple act of approving drone exports would prevent further harm. If Jordanian policy, like President Obama’s, is to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, why is the Obama administration refusing to provide an ally with the tools to do just that?
Mr. Hunter, a Republican congressman from California, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.Read More
223 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter represents California’s 50th Congressional District consisting of East and Northern County San Diego. In 2008, Hunter was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives, succeeding his father, Duncan L. Hunter, who retired after serving 14 consecutive terms in Congress.
Hunter is a native of San Diego. He graduated from Granite Hills High School in El Cajon and earned a degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. Hunter worked to pay for his education by creating websites and programming databases and ecommerce systems for high-tech companies. Immediately after graduation, he went to work full time in San Diego as a Business Analyst.
Soon after our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001, Hunter quit his job and joined the United States Marine Corps. Hunter entered active service as a Lieutenant in 2002 and excelled in the area of field artillery, much like his grandfather, Robert O. Hunter, who was a Marine Corps artillery officer in World War II.
Over the course of his service career, Hunter served three combat tours overseas: two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. In 2003, Hunter deployed to Iraq with the 1st Marine Division. Hunter completed his second tour in 2004, where he and his fellow Marines were at the center of combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.
In September 2005, four years after he quit his job and joined the Marine Corps, Hunter was honorably discharged from active military service and started a successful residential development company. Still a Marine Reservist, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006, and to the rank of Major in 2012.
Less than two years before Hunter was elected, he was recalled to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan. Hunter returned home after more than six months on the front lines and, with the support of the San Diego community, became the first Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to Congress.
Hunter is a strong conservative who is committed to strengthening national security, enforcing our borders, creating opportunities for American workers and protecting the interests of taxpayers. He is also a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, protecting traditional marriage and the rights of the unborn.
Congressman Hunter and his wife live in Alpine, California. They are the proud parents of three children: Duncan, Elizabeth and Sarah.
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@Rep_Hunter - Bravo Marine! Pushing back on the SecNav. Well done indeed. All Marines are proud of you.
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Nice to see dad doing something constructive with his time. Obviously kidding, but take a moment to read his take on USMC General John Kelly,