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Hunter Challenges Claim By General That U.S. Army is 'Broken'

The House Armed Services Committee on Friday debated a bill that would require troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the same time at home as they spend overseas. But San Diego Republican Duncan H

Hunter Challenges Claim By General That U.S. Army is 'Broken'

The House Armed Services Committee on Friday debated a bill that would require troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the same time at home as they spend overseas. But San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter says that will undermine the war in Iraq. Charles Davis reports from Washington.

Active-duty troops are currently deployed overseas for tours of 15 months. But they only get one year at home before returning to duty. Lawrence Korb was an assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He says the long deployments are straining the military to the breaking point.

But San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter took issue with his claim that retired General Barry McCaffery called the Army "broken" after a recent visit to Iraq.

Hunter : Did General McCaffery say the Army is broken?

Korb : I will give you the exact quote: ‘The ground combat capability of the US Army forces is shot.’

But Korb's answer didn't satisfy Hunter.

Hunter : Now you said 'ground combat capability.' That didn't say the Army is broken.

Democrats are pushing to require active duty troops to receive time at home equal to the time they spend deployed overseas. But Hunter and other Republicans say Democrats are really just trying to force a withdrawal from Iraq.

From Washington, I'm Charles Davis for KPBS Radio.