November 21, 2011

Senator Graham and Top Military, Business Leaders Discuss U.S. Global Leadership

U.S. engagement in the world critical to South Carolina’s Security and Economy

Charleston, SC —Top military, business, and faith leaders joined U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham tonight at the Citadel for a discussion of U.S. engagement in the world and its impact on South Carolina families.  American leadership is essential to South Carolina’s security and economy, and Senator Graham is a national authority on both defense and foreign policy issues.

“Our long-term national-security successes will not be judged by the day on which we leave places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but by what we leave behind,” said Senator Graham.  “The foreign operations account is national security in another form, and the funds are an essential piece in protecting our own nation.  I know our economy is under strain but we cannot afford to disengage from the world, particularly during dangerous times like these.”

South Carolina is a national leader in foreign investment, and one in five jobs in the state currently depend on trade, making American leadership in the world a critical strategic issue for the state.  The port in Charleston alone is responsible for nearly 55,000 local jobs and contributes over $3 billion to the local economy.

The event also featured General James Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dr. Marco L.E. Cavazzoni from The Boeing Company, a leading employer in the Charleston area, and Dr. Tony Beam, Vice President of Student Affairs and Christian Worldview at North Greenville University, in a panel discussion moderated by David Brody, Chief Political Correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network. 

“America faces a very different set of challenges in the world than when I became a Marine,” said General Cartwright.  “During the Cold War, it was easy to tell who our enemies were, but today we face foes that require using all of the tools in our foreign policy arsenal to keep our nation safe and secure, which is why we need our civilian development and diplomatic operations at their best.”

“Boeing is proud of our teammates, our partnerships and our operations in South Carolina as in a myriad of locations around the world. Our company understands the critical role international affairs programs play in opening up new markets for American goods services overseas,” said Marco Cavazzoni, vice president and general manager Boeing South Carolina Final Assembly and Delivery.  “Expanding the global economy is good for our business and our industry, and it ensures Boeing can continue to grow and continue to produce some of the most technologically advanced airplanes in the world.”

“Our international aid is a force for good in the world, and demonstrates the finest values of the American people,” said Dr. Beam.  “Millions of lives have been saved through our HIV/AIDS initiatives, and the effects of the famine in the Horn of Africa today are lessened due to investments made in sustainable agricultural programs to empower local farmers to provide for their families.”

“Senator Graham is one of the most respected national security voices in our country today,” said USGLC Executive Director Liz Schrayer.  “His leadership to make sure America has the resources it needs, not only for the military but also for our civilian operations, is clearly appreciated by the South Carolina business, military, and faith-based communities.”

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.