We Are Veterans of America's National Security Community. And We Endorse Joe Biden | Opinion

We are an ideologically diverse group of individuals and organizations that are united in the belief that Joe Biden will better protect American national security than the current occupant of the White House.

Together, our memberships consist of hundreds of civilians and military veterans, privates to generals and admirals, lower-ranking Foreign Service Officers to ambassadors, and intelligence officials. We have all taken an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..." In seeking to fulfil this oath, we note the following:

First, we believe in the fundamental foundation of our democracy: the right to vote in fair elections. We are deeply concerned about the attacks on this fundamental right in the current administration's attacks on voter registration, voting by mail, and the U.S. Postal Service. Many of our fellow citizens gave their "last full measure of devotion" to preserve and ensure this right, and it is our duty to protect and ensure it.

Second, Article II of the Constitution calls for the president to be the "commander in chief" of American military forces. This is an awesome responsibility, and previous presidents have treated it as such and have never denigrated those who risked, and in some cases, gave their lives in defense of our country. Joe Biden respects, indeed reveres, those who have served our country. If elected in November, he will become the first president since Dwight Eisenhower who sent a child to war.

Third, the COVID-19 pandemic, a once in a century tragedy, has taken the lives of 205,000 of our fellow citizens and threatens to take the lives of more Americans than were killed in World War II by the end of this year. The current administration has abjectly failed to deal with this threat. Joe Biden has called for policy to be led by informed, competent scientists and not political ideologues.

Fourth, since the days of the American Revolution, the United States has cooperated with and even depended upon allies. Indeed, without the support of France and Lafayette, our Revolution might have failed. In World War II, the U.S. worked closely and effectively with its allies to defeat the obscenity of Nazism. And after the war, the United States led in creating an international order that resulted in one of the longest periods of peace in world history. Allies are force multipliers for the U.S. and helped to make the long peace possible.

Fifth, the long peace of the post-World War II world was built on international agreements and organizations which provided the foundation for discussion and cooperation of important global issues. The current administration has criticized and withdrawn from a number of these organizations. For example, the president has threatened to withdraw from NATO, a U.S. creation and the most successful alliance in world history. Joe Biden has strongly supported NATO and other organizations that further American national security throughout his more than four decades of public service and has never threatened to withdraw from a bulwark of U.S. national security.

Sixth, throughout his dedicated public service career, Joe Biden has been a moderate and someone who seeks to move the country forward on important issues. He has strongly supported the organizations for which our members have worked: the military, the State Department, intelligence community, and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.

Seventh, one of the most distinctive aspects of the U.S. political system that both Americans and foreign observers have focused on is the peaceful transition of power. In the past, no matter how hard-fought elections may have been, the winner and the loser reconciled and agreed to move forward for the good of the country. The president has already challenged the legitimacy of voting by mail and has indicated that he may not accept the results of the election. Our organizations urge Americans to accept the results of the election as all previous presidential candidates have done.

We believe that Joe Biden has the background, commitment, and courage to protect American national security, and we ask that, along with us, you vote for him on November 3.

Veterans for Responsible Leadership

Dan Barkhuff, Former US Navy SEAL, President
Glenn Schatz, Vice President

The Steady State

Steven Abram Cash, Retired Intelligence Officer, Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein
Greg Delawie, Ambassador (ret.)

Council on American Security

LCDR Greg Keeley, USN (ret.), President, Council on American Security
MAJ Adam DeMarco, ARNG

The Lincoln Project

Sarah Lenti, Executive Director. Former Director of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, National Security Council, 2001-2003.
Fred Wellman, Senior Advisor for Veterans Affairs.

National Security Leaders for Biden, Steering Committee

Micheal E. Smith, Rear Admiral USN (ret.), Executive Director
Donna Barbisch, Major General USA (ret.), Outreach Director
Steven V. Brock, Captain, USN (ret.), Strategic Messaging. Former Director of National Security Council

The views expressed in this article are the authors' own.