The Washington Times - April 6, 2011, 02:39PM

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, a California Republican who was an early supporter of The White House decision to intervene in Libya, has written a letter to President Obama saying that he must now allow the U.S.’s international partners to show they can step up and pull duty as international peacekeepers.

Mr. Hunter, a Marine veteran of both the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, said U.S. leadership was the right way to begin action in Libya, but said now NATO is capable of handling matters going forward. He is leading the letter, which was co-signed by three other members of the House Armed Services Committee.

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“The fighting in Libya presents a real opportunity for our international partners to show their strength to the rest of the world and help carry the global security burden on their shoulders, particularly at a time when our nation’s attention is focused on holding victory in Iraq and winning in Afghanistan,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “It is time for our NATO allies to step up and do their part.”

The lawmakers said the U.S. role must be limited to operations such as surveillance, reconnaissance and aerial refueling, and “should not be expected to have any additional involvement in the NATO-led Libyan operation — a point that needs to be made clear throughout the duration of the campaign.”

The other signers were Reps. Colleen Hanabusa, Hawaii Democrat, Steven Palazzo, Mississippi Republican, and Michael K. Conaway, Texas Republican.