ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, eleven retired Admirals and Generals signed the following letter in support of John McCain and his candidacy for President of the United States:
As retired military officers, we share a natural hesitancy to engage actively in politics. There is a healthy discomfort in our profession with any political involvement because the country rightly depends on our military to support any commander in chief with our best military advice and our actions. But two factors compel us to speak out now and openly support John McCain for President: first, the surprising and inaccurate questioning of his record by some of Senator Obama's leading supporters; and second, the importance to our national security of winning the war we are fighting.
The United States is confronted by many threats to its security and prosperity. Most significantly, we are engaged in a broad conflict with Islamic extremism against enemies espousing the same radical and violent ideology whose full dimensions the American people first glimpsed on September 11, 2001. Success in this war will require not only victory in the "hot" conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as well a balanced and integrated application of all elements of America's national power as we work with our allies around the world to marginalize radicals and build a shared vision for peace with moderate Islam.
We are privileged to have had the opportunity to serve this country in uniform for most of our adult lives. We have had the honor of commanding young Americans of the same caliber and tenacity as those who today remain on the front lines, willingly sacrificing their own well-being and security and offering their lives in order to preserve our freedom. They deserve, and the American people demand, leadership of proven character -- leadership that will always put America's interests ahead of personal gain and political party.
It is our experience as former senior military officers that also gives us great concern about certain foreign policy positions staked out by Senator Obama. We are acutely aware that ill-conceived policies will have serious, if not tragic, consequences for military commanders, the troops they lead, and the nation. We are particularly concerned about his public statements, including his call for a withdrawal from Iraq, unconditional talks with the leaders of rogue states, and the return to a law-enforcement approach to protecting our country from terrorists.
This country has learned the peril of treating terrorists and their state sponsors as little more than a law enforcement problem. We are unanimous in our view that the failures of the past should not be repeated, and we believe that John McCain's long record of national service, and his demonstrated judgment on matters of national security, make clear who can best defend this country abroad, and assure peace and prosperity at home.
Through a lifetime of service in uniform and in Congress, John McCain has consistently displayed the wisdom and courage to do the right thing for America regardless of the cost to him personally. It is for this reason, above all others, that we endorse John McCain for President, and it is for this reason that we stand with him now as he continues his long history of service to this country.
James B. Davis, General, USAF (RET.)
Ronald J. Hays, Admiral, USN (RET)
James L. Holloway, Admiral, USN (RET)
Jerome L. Johnson, Admiral, USN, (RET)
P.X. Kelley, General, USMC, (RET)
James J. Lindsay, General, USA (RET)
John Michael Loh, General, USAF, (RET)
Leighton W. Smith, Admiral, USN (RET)
Carl Stiner, General, USA (RET)
Donald C. "Deese" Thompson, Vice Admiral, USCG, (RET)
Howard B. Thorsen, Vice Admiral, USCG, (RET)