Allen West: We used bayonets and horses in Afghanistan

(Ed O'Keefe/Washington Post via Instagram)

STUART, Fla. — Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) knows a thing or two about how the U.S. military uses bayonets, because he sent soldiers into battle with them in Iraq.

Speaking to about 100 senior citizens Tuesday afternoon in this golfing and retirement community, West joined legions of conservatives and Republicans criticizing President Obama’s performance during Monday night’s presidential debate on foreign policy and seized especially on the exchange between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney over the declining strength of the U.S. Navy.

“I can tell you that when I was a battalion commander, we did still issue bayonets to our troops when we deployed to Iraq in 2003. The second thing I will tell you is that in 2001, Special Forces soldiers were on horseback riding with the Northern Alliance to fight against the Taliban,” West said. “So obviously we have a president who does not understand the full capabilities and capacities and what we do in the United States military.”

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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