Nearly 500 ex-military, national security officials throw support behind Biden

Joe Biden
Posted at 10:45 AM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 12:45:14-04

Nearly 500 retired military leaders, Cabinet secretaries and former national security officials have come out in support of Joe Biden, casting him as the presidential candidate who has the skills needed to "address a world on fire."

In an open letter released by the group National Security Leaders for Biden on Thursday, the national security officials and retired military leaders praised Biden as the "leader our nation needs" for his empathy, honesty and integrity, and wrote his "positions are rooted in sound and judgement, thorough understanding, and fundamental values."

"Joe Biden has the character, principles, wisdom, and leadership necessary to address a world on fire," the letter states. "That is why Joe Biden must be the next President of the United States; why we vigorously support his election; and why we urge our fellow citizens to do the same."

Signatories include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and retired Air Force General Paul Selva, who served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Mr. Trump until 2019. A litany of retired ambassadors, service chiefs and retired generals and admirals also signed the letter endorsing Biden.

"We are generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security leaders. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We love our country. Unfortunately, we also fear for it," the military and national security officials wrote. "The COVID-19 pandemic has proven America needs principled, wise, and responsible leadership. America needs a President who understands, as President Harry S. Truman said, that 'the buck stops here.' We the undersigned endorse Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States. He is the leader our nation needs."

The group of officials warned that the next president will inherit not just a country, but a world, "in turmoil" and claimed Mr. Trump has demonstrated in his first term that he cannot match the "enormous responsibilities" of the presidency.

"He cannot rise to meet challenges large or small," they said. "Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us. Climate change continues unabated, as does North Korea's nuclear program. The president has ceded influence to a Russian adversary who puts bounties on the heads of American military personnel, and his trade war against China has only harmed America's farmers and manufacturers."

In addition to the hundreds of national security and military officials throwing their support behind Biden, the former vice president also enjoys the backing of former Republican lawmakers and governors and departed members of the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Cindy McCain, wife of the late Senator John McCain, said she is backing Biden.

Last month, more than 70 national security officials who worked in Republican administrations endorsed Biden and said Mr. Trump is "dangerously unfit to serve another term."