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GOP Marine combat vet backs Obama on Libya

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Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, a California Republican and Marine combat veteran who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, says President Obama made the right choice in attacking Libya to impose a no-fly zone and aid rebels seeking to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

“President Barack Obama made a decision that is consistent with his role as commander-in-chief — in fact, a judgment that conformed to calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle,” Mr. Hunter wrote in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune this weekend.

Mr. Hunter said the president did abide by the War Powers Resolution, countering the charges of other members of Congress that the president exceeded his authority in approving the mission. Mr. Hunter said the sort of consultation and debate members of Congress wanted would have meant losing the element of surprise and jeopardizing the mission.

Congress was gone on a 10-day vacation when Mr. Obama gave the go-ahead for military strikes on Libya. Two days after those attacks began, he sent Congress a letter informing lawmakers of his decision, which is in accordance with the War Powers Resolution.

Still, some lawmakers are irked that the administration discussed details of the operations with foreign allies and NATO, though not with Congress itself.

Despite his support, Mr. Hunter said that Mr. Obama does not have “an unrestricted authorization or blank check” to act under the War Powers Resolution and that Congress does have a role going forward in weighing in on military action.

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