Washington DC—In response to reports that the U.S. is “scrambling” in Iraq to close intelligence gaps, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the following statement:

“Without a residual force, the President knew full well that the U.S. would lose its eyes and ears on the ground.  Now the CIA and others are scrambling to close gaps in intelligence to support possible action against militants—specifically airstrikes.  This signals that we are at a significant disadvantage and limits the options that a responsible and informed commander-in-chief would have already weighed. 

“What’s happening in Iraq is a direct result of the President’s misguided decisions.  Militarily, the U.S. won in Iraq, but the hard-fought and hard-earned gains of our servicemen and women have been politically squandered by the President and his Administration.   

“Opportunities to stabilize Iraq disappeared when the President decided against leaving a residual force.”