Press Release: Open Letter from Retired U.S. Military Leaders in Support of a Strong U.S.-Israel Relationship

For Immediate Release
May 10, 2024
Contact: Blake Johnson
(202) 370-4821

Washington, DC – Amid rising antisemitism in America and strained U.S.-Israel relations, today the Jewish Institute for National Security of America issued a public letter, signed by 80 former U.S. generals and admirals, touting the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel partnership and unconditional support for this critical U.S. partner.

Led by the former commander of U.S. Central Command, General Frank McKenzie (ret.), the leaders write in the letter that Israeli military operations comply with the laws of armed conflict, and that:

“Amid surging antisemitism in America and the world, following the largest one-day loss of innocent Jewish life since the Holocaust, U.S. support for the only Jewish state should be clear, unwavering, and not conditioned. The benefits of this partnership for the American people and this important region are many, and too valuable, to forsake.”

The retired military leaders note the deep, bilateral cooperation between the two countries that has led to significant strategic, economic, and technological advancements that have made America safer and kept U.S. service members out of harm’s way. They underscore the threat Iran and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East pose to U.S. security and values, and that Israel stands on the front lines as a key ally to counter these forces.

“This letter is remarkable for bringing together nearly 80 highly esteemed U.S. generals and admirals who, based on their first-hand experience serving our country for decades, lay out why a strong Israel and robust U.S.-Israel security ties are strategically critical for the United States,” said JINSA President and CEO Michael Makovsky. “They understand it’s vital for the United States to have Israel’s back at this dangerous moment in the Middle East, particularly as Israel is engaged in a war of self-defense brought on by the worst single-day murder of Jews since the Holocaust.”

The letter urges the Biden administration to embrace its regional ally and work with them constructively to the benefit of both countries:

“We can disagree, as all allies do, but signs of public division only embolden the forces of violence, instability, and extremism that threaten both America and Israel. When we stand together, however, peace and regional stability become possible.”

Read the Open Letter

Letter Signees include:

Gen Frank McKenzie, USMC (ret.), Commander, U.S. Central Command

Gen Kevin P. Chilton, USAF (ret.), Commander, U.S. Strategic Command

ADM Timothy J. Keating, USN (ret.), Commander, U.S. Pacific Command

GEN David M. Rodriguez, USA (ret.), Commander, United States Africa Command

GEN Walter L. “Skip” Sharp, USA (ret.), Commander, United Nations Command, ROK-United States Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea

GEN James D. Thurman, USA (ret.), Commander, United Nations Command, ROK-United States Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea

Gen James Conway, USMC (ret.), 34th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

ADM Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., USN (ret.), Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

GEN Frank J. Grass, USA (ret.), 27th Chief of the National Guard Bureau

ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (ret.), 30th Chief of Naval Operations

Gen Robert Neller, USMC (ret.), 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

ADM Paul Zukunft, USCG (ret.), 25th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard

Gen William Begert, USAF (ret.), Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Component Commander for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command

ADM Bruce Clingan, USN (ret.), Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Africa/Commander, Allied Joint Forces Command, Naples

Gen Donald G. Cook, USAF (ret.), Commander, Air Education and Training Command

ADM Mark Fitzgerald, USN (ret.), Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Africa/Commander, Allied Joint Forces Command, Naples

Gen Gilmary Michael Hostage III, USAF (ret.), Commander, Air Combat Command

ADM Jerome L. Johnson, USN (ret.), Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Gen Duncan J. McNabb, USAF (ret.), Commander, U.S. Transportation Command

Gen W.L. Nyland, USMC (ret.), Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

Gen Charles Wald, USAF (ret.), Deputy Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM)

Lt Gen Marcus Anderson, USAF (ret.), Air Force Inspector General

VADM John Bird, USN (ret.), Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

LtGen Arthur Blades, USMC (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations

LTG H. Steven Blum, USA (ret.), Deputy Commander, U.S. Northern Command

Lt Gen Richard “Tex” Brown, USAF (ret.), Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, USAF

Lt Gen Walter E. Buchanan, USAF (ret.), Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces

LtGen Ronald Christmas, USMC (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower & Reserve Affairs

VADM Michael J. Connor, USN (ret.), Commander, United States Submarine Forces

VADM Bob Conway, USN (ret.), Commander, Navy Installations Command

LtGen Jon M. Davis, USMC (ret.), Deputy Commandant, Marine Corps Aviation (HQMC) Pentagon

Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters Air Force

Lt Gen Eric Fiel, USAF (ret.), Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command

VADM Jeffrey Fowler, USN (ret.), 60th Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy

VADM Mark I. Fox, USN (ret.), Deputy Commander, United States Central Command

LTG David Fridovich, USA (ret.), Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command-USSOCOM

LtGen Kenneth Glueck, Jr., USMC (ret.), Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration; Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command

Lt Gen Mike Gould, USAF (ret.), 18th Superintendent, USAF Academy

Lt Gen Joseph Guastella, USAF (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force

LtGen Earl Hailston, USMC (ret.), Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific/Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command

VADM Dennis Jones, USN (ret.), Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command

LTG Kevin Mangum, USA (ret.), Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Lt Gen Charles May, USAF (ret.), Vice Chief of Staff

VADM John W. Miller, USN (ret.), Commander, United States Fifth Fleet

Lt Gen C.D. Moore II, USAF (ret.), Commander, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center

LtGen Richard F. Natonski, USMC (ret.), Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command

Lt Gen Chris Nowland, USAF (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force

Lt Gen Tad Oelstrom, USAF (ret.), Special Assistant to the Commander Air Force Space

LTG Raymond Palumbo, USA (ret.), Director for Defense Intelligence

LtGen Frank Panter, USMC (ret.), Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps

Lt Gen Mark D. Shackelford, USAF (ret.), Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition

LTG Thomas W. Spoehr, USA (ret.), Director, Office of Business, Transformation, Headquarters, Department of the Army

VADM Sandy Stosz, USCG (ret.), Deputy Commandant for Mission Support

LTG Guy Swan, USA (ret.), Commanding General of U.S. Army North/Fifth Army

LTG Jeffrey W. Talley, USA (ret.), 32nd Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command

Lt Gen Thomas J. Trask, USAF (ret.), Vice Commander, United States Special Operations Command

LtGen George J. Trautman, III, USMC (ret.), Deputy Commandant for Aviation of the United States Marine Corps

LTG Keith C. Walker, USA (ret.), Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center

RADM Garry Bonelli, USN (ret.), Deputy Commander, Navy Special Warfare Command

Maj Gen Jack J. Catton, Jr., USAF (ret.), Director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command

MajGen Jon Gallinetti, USMC (ret.), Deputy Commander of Marine Forces Command

MajGen Donald R. Gardner, USMC (ret.),Commander, III Marine Expeditionary Force and Commander, 3rd Marine Division

Maj Gen Kenneth Israel, USAF (ret.), Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Airborne Reconnaissance, and Director of the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office

RADM Steven Kantrowitz, USN (ret.), Office of the Judge Advocate General

RADM Mary E. Landry, USCG (ret.), Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District

RADM Brian L. Losey, USN (ret.), Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command

MajGen Bradley Mark Lott, USMC (ret.), Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command

MajGen Jarvis Lynch, USMC (ret.), Commander, Eastern Marine Recruiting Depot

RADM Edward Masso, USNR (ret.), Commander, Navy Personnel Command/Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel

RADM Terry McKnight, USN (ret.), Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2

RADM William F. Merlin, USCG (ret.), Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District

RADM Mark Milliken, USN (ret.), Director, Navy International Programs Office

MG William C. Moore, USA (ret.), Director for Operations, Headquarters

MajGen Dave Richwine, USMC (ret.), Headquarters, USMC, Chief Information Officer and Director of Intelligence

RADM Scott Sanders, USN (ret.), Deputy Director for Reserves, J7, Joint Staff

Maj Gen Lawrence Stutzriem, USAF (ret.), Director, Plans, Policy, and Strategy, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command

RADM Jeremy D. Taylor, USN (ret.), Director Naval Aviation Plans and Requirements, Staff of CNO

MajGen Larry Taylor USMCR (ret.), Commanding General, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing

MajGen Kenneth W. Weir, USMCR (ret.), Commanding General 4th Marine Air Wing

BGen Michael Mulqueen, USMC (ret.), The United States Military Entrance Processin