PRESS RELEASE from John Edwards for President

May 23, 2007
Colleen Murray


Chapel Hill, North Carolina – The John Edwards for President campaign announced today the formation of a military advisory group that includes leaders from all four armed services as well as the National Guard.  Senator John Edwards consults with members of the group on a wide range of defense and national security issues, including those discussed in his address today at the Council on Foreign Relations.  The group will continue to advise Edwards on issues related to military policy and national security throughout the course of his campaign.

“The plan Sen. Edwards is announcing today would help America’s military rebuild from the last six years and address the challenges of the new century,” said Lieutenant General Michael A. Hough, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.) “Most importantly, I believe the plan demonstrates Edwards would make an excellent commander-in-chief.”
“The members of the Military Advisory Group have provided invaluable counsel to me,” said Edwards.  “The advice of military professionals with experience across our force structure—the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and the National Guard—has been especially helpful in formulating a policy to strengthen the entire U.S. military for the challenges of a new century.”

In today’s speech, Edwards called for rebuilding a strong military for a new century.  He rejected President Bush’s “global war on terror” doctrine in favor of a more effective “smart power” military strategy that would reestablish America’s moral leadership of the world.

The members of Edwards’ advisory group are as follows:

Lieutenant General Michael A. Hough, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.).  General Hough served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Director of Joint Strike Fighter Program, and the Deputy Commandant for Aviation. General Hough served as the Deputy Commandant for Aviation for the U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. from 2002 to 2005. He has been honored with many military awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal.

General Paul J. Kern, U.S. Army (ret.).   General Kern directed the military’s internal investigation into the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004.  He had two tours in Vietnam as a platoon leader and troop commander, and he commanded the Second Brigade of the 24th Infantry in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. General Kern received the Defense and Army Distinguished Service Medals, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals for valor, three Bronze Star Medals for service in combat, and three Purple Hearts.

General Lester “Les” Lyles, U.S. Air Force (ret.).  General Lyles was the second highest ranking officer for the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2000.  He also managed development of the nation’s ballistic-missile defense systems as the Director of Ballistic Missile Defense Organization for the Department of Defense. Lyles served as Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, implementing $42.6 billion annually in research and development for the Air Force.

General Gregory S. "Speedy" Martin, U.S. Air Force (ret.).  General Martin served as commander of U.S. Air Force Materiel Command.  General Martin previously served as commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Allied Air Forces Northern Europe.

Rear Admiral William J. McDaniel, U.S. Navy (ret.).  Admiral McDaniel is a medical doctor with a career in combat and humanitarian action. He has commanded hospitals during key crises, including in South Carolina during Hurricane Hugo.  He was also called on by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet to head the advance team into Southeast Asia following the December 2004 tsunami.

Rear Admiral David Oliver, U.S. Navy (ret.).  Admiral Oliver commanded a nuclear submarine and two submarine groups in the Navy. He served in Baghdad as the Director of Management and Budget for the Coalition Forces. Following Senate confirmation in 1998, Admiral Oliver served as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology through two Administrations until July 2001. His military decorations include the Defense and Navy Distinguished Service Medals as well as six awards of the Legion of Merit. His awards for public service include the Bronze Palm to the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Major General Allen Youngman, U.S. Army (ret.).  General Youngman is the former Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  From June 1998 to June 1999 he served in the Office of the Assistants to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, for National Guard and Reserve Matters. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Defense Superior Service Medal.

Dr. Barry M. Blechman.  Dr. Blechman is the founder and chairman of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a non-profit research center in Washington. Blechman has authored more than 100 books, articles and reports, including the widely-respected study of politico-military operations Force Without War and most recently The Politics of National Defense. Blechman currently serves on the Department of Defense senior policy board, the Defense Policy Board, as well as the Department of State Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy.

Irving N. Blickstein, former Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.  Mr. Blickstein specializes in effective and efficient deployment of resources for the U.S. military. As Assistant Deputy Chief, Blickstein arranged the Navy’s resource allocations, and served as the Director of Acquisition Program Integration in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense. Blickstein was twice awarded the Presidential Rank award of Meritorious Executive, and twice received the Presidential Rank award of Distinguished Executive.