Washington, D.C. — In response to yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing for Marine General Joe Dunford, who has been nominated to become the top ISAF commander in Afghanistan, Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Marine veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, called criticism of Dunford “unfounded and inconsistent with his sterling record of accomplishment as one of the military’s top officers.”

“General Joe Dunford is a high caliber Marine officer whose strategic and tactical vision is exactly what the mission in Afghanistan needs ahead of the 2014 transition.  He’s an outside the box thinker with keen insight and his effectiveness as a commander in Iraq is proof that he can lead Marines and a coalition of troops under any condition.  In 2003, I served alongside General Dunford in Iraq and saw him in action. There, he rightly earned the nickname “Fighting Joe” for his courage and tenacity.

“In all due respect to Senator McCain or any other Senator questioning his nomination, any criticism of General Dunford is unfounded and inconsistent with his sterling record of accomplishment as one of the military’s top officers.

“If America wants to bring Afghanistan home, then General Dunford is the man for the job.”