February 27, 2008

Top U.S. Military Officers Issue Call to Action to Presidential Candidates, Urging New Foreign Policy Direction

General Anthony Zinni and Admiral Leighton Smith lead largest number of retired, high-ranking military officers to endorse “smart power” strategy


– General Anthony C. Zinni (USMC – ret.)

– Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr. (USN – ret.)

– Richard L. Armitage, Former Deputy Secretary of State (2001 – 2005)

– Liz Schrayer, Executive Director, Center for U.S. Global Engagement

Where: Mayflower Hotel, Colonial Ballroom – 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

When: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 – 12:15pm – 1:30pm – Lunch will be served

What: As voters go to the polls for the next round of primaries, much is already weighing on their minds: a possible U.S. recession, rising unemployment, lack of affordable health care, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But an unprecedented number of three and four-star military officers believe that another concern should be front and center – the candidates’ vision for a better, safer America and world.

On March 5th, retired General Anthony C. Zinni and retired Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr. will join the Center for U.S. Global Engagement to launch a National Security Advisory Council and issue a call to action to the remaining presidential candidates. Their goals are to develop a new strategy for U.S. national security and foreign policy, one that elevates the use of “smart power” tools, such as development assistance and diplomacy. This call to action has been endorsed by over four dozen retired, senior military leaders representing all branches of the Armed Services – the largest military endorsement of smart power, to date.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, and co-chair of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Commission on Smart Power, will make opening remarks followed by General Zinni and Admiral Smith who will publicly issue the call to action on behalf of the other endorsers. The event will also include a Q&A with General Zinni and Admiral Smith, during which they will discuss the national security challenges facing our country, and why the next Commander-in-Chief must elevate non-military tools of global engagement in order to build a better, safer world.

Immediately preceding the March 5th event, General Zinni and Admiral Smith will be testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the issue of smart power. The hearing will be held in Room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 9:15 a.m.


About the Center for U.S. Global Engagement

The Center for U.S. Global Engagement, the educational arm of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, unites business, foreign policy, humanitarian, faith-based, community and military leaders around the country to broaden our understanding of America’s interests in building a better, safer world. For more information, go to http://www.usglobalengagement.org/.