December 4, 2013

Admiral James Stavridis and General Anthony Zinni Named Co-Chairs of National Security Advisory Council

Will Lead Nearly 150 Military Leaders in Advocating for “Smart Power” Foreign Policy

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is proud to announce two of our country’s most well respected military leaders, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) and former Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), as new co-chairs of its National Security Advisory Council (NSAC).

The NSAC is made up of nearly 150 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, representing all five branches of the Armed Forces and united in their support of a “smart power” approach that promotes America’s national security by strengthening all the tools of national security — diplomacy and development, alongside a strong defense.

“Throughout our military careers, General Zinni and I saw firsthand how the tools of development assistance and diplomacy often help nations around the globe stabilize and prosper,” Admiral Stavridis said. “As they do, they create the conditions that can defuse conflict before it requires a military response. That makes those countries and their regions more secure, which in turns makes America more secure.”

“Even when military power is unavoidable, our development and diplomacy initiatives are essential to keeping the peace and helping nations get back on their feet after conflict subsides,” said General Zinni. “Without those tools, it’s all too likely that the forces of chaos and insecurity will take over again, squandering battlefield victories and potentially putting our troops back in harm’s way.”

Our civilian national security tools of development and diplomacy are cost-effective investments in keeping America safe, as the International Affairs Budget represents only one percent of the federal budget.  As NSAC member and recently-retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who formerly commanded all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, put it earlier this year, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

“These two remarkable leaders are among the most eloquent and influential champions of a ‘smart power’ solution to our national security,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer. “They share with countless other top U.S. military the conviction that the programs funded by our International Affairs Budget make America stronger and more secure.”

Admiral Stavridis and General Zinni succeed General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret.), and Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.) as Co-Chairs of the NSAC. “We are enormously grateful to General Hagee and Admiral Loy, under whose leadership NSAC grew dramatically over the past four years,” said Schrayer. “They are true American heroes who have continued to serve their country out of uniform, and our nation is safer thanks to their leadership and sacrifice.”

Admiral Stavridis was the first naval officer to serve as American and NATO commander in Europe, overseeing a 51-nation coalition of 120,000 troops operating across three continents and at sea. He previously led the U.S. Southern Command – comprising Latin America, South America and the Caribbean – and held many other important commands throughout his 37-year Navy service.  Following his retirement from the Navy in 2013, Admiral Stavridis was named Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

General Zinni retired in 2000, after commanding the U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for operations across the Middle East. His 35 years of Marine Corps service took him to more than 70 countries, including two tours in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded, and he led numerous other major operations around the world. In 2002, he was selected to be U.S. special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.