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Public letter: American College of National Security Leaders Letter to Senate of Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee re Nominations

Published on

November 17, 2021

The Honorable Jack Reed


Senate Armed Services Committee

Russell Senate Building, Room 228 Washington, DC 20510-6050

The Honorable Bob Menendez


Senate Foreign Relations Committee

423 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510-6225

The Honorable Jim Inhofe

Ranking Member

Senate Armed Services Committee

Russell Senate Building, Room 228

Washington, DC 20510- 6050

The Honorable James E. Risch

Ranking Member

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

423 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510- 6225

Dear Chairmen Reed and Menendez and Ranking Members Inhofe and Risch:

The American College of National Security Leaders is a professional, apolitical organization of retired ambassadors, senior executives, and military flag and general officers who collectively have served across all of America’s national security institutions. We write today to express our concern about the pace at which the Senate is considering the President’s nominees to diplomatic, Executive Schedule, and military positions of great responsibility.

As you know, vacancies in senior national security leadership positions place the U.S. at a global disadvantage and expose us to national security risks. American history is replete with reasons why leadership vacuums should be avoided. The events leading up to and immediately following September 11, 2001, offer many compelling examples. Leadership vacancies also invite national security mistakes. They convey messages of dysfunction to our allies and partners and of weakness to our adversaries. Such messages can be avoided only if the Senate allows the President to fill our many ambassadorial and military vacancies.

We fully appreciate the volume of confirmations that pass through the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees in the weeks following the start of a new Administration. We hold this extremely important national security process in the highest regard. Because we consider the Senate’s role so important and its inaction so inimical to our nation’s diplomatic credibility and military strength, we respectfully request your full and immediate consideration and vote on the President’s diplomatic and military nominees.


Major General Donna Barbisch (ret.), USA

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann (ret.)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte (ret.), USAF

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett (ret.), USN

Lieutenant General Ronald Blanck (ret.), USA

Avis Bohlen, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Eric J. Boswell, U.S. Ambassador (ret.)

Richard Boucher, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Peter Burleigh, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Wendy Chamberlin, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Frances D. Cook, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Major General Peter Cooke (ret.), USA

William Courtney, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Vice Admiral Dirk Debbink, (ret.) USN

Brigadier General John Douglass (ret.), USAF

Major General Paul Eaton (ret.), USA

Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken (ret.) USN

Robert S. Gelbard, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State (ret.)

Rear Admiral Janice Hamby (ret.), USN

Major General Bob Harding (ret.), USA

Rear Admiral Charles Harr (ret.), USN

Patricia S. Haslach, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Rear Admiral Len Hering (ret.), USN

Cameron Hume, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Dennis Jett, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Major General Jacques Paul Kline (ret.), USAF

Michael Klosson, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Mr. Bruce Lemkin, Senior Executive Service (ret.)

Hugo Llorens, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Major General Randy Manner (ret.) USA

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martínez (ret.), USAF

Brigadier General Joseph Medina (ret.), USMC

Allan Mustard, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Rick Olson, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Major General Gale Pollock (ret.), USA

Michael C. Polt, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Charles A. Ray, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Brigadier General Lewis Roach (ret.), USA

Rear Admiral Harold Robinson (ret.), USN

Douglas Silliman, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Brigadier General Francis Taylor (ret.), USAF

Patrick N. Theros, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

James Thessin, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Harry Thomas Jr., U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Major General F. Andrew “Andy” Turley (ret.) USAF

James B. Warlick, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Earl Wayne, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

David Bruce Wharton, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Pamela White, U.S.Ambassador (ret.)

Brigadier General Tim White, USAF (ret.)

Major General Margaret Wilmoth, (ret.) USA

Major General Michael Wilson, (ret.) USAF

Major General David Zabecki (ret.), USA