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Romney’s Military Advisory Council has more than 300 retired general officers

The Mitt Romney campaign announced Wednesday it has stood up a Military Advisory Council made up of more than 300 retired generals and admirals who are ready to do battle for the Republican nominee. "I am deeply honored to have the support of so many of our most accomplished military leaders," Romney said in a ...

The Mitt Romney campaign announced Wednesday it has stood up a Military Advisory Council made up of more than 300 retired generals and admirals who are ready to do battle for the Republican nominee.

"I am deeply honored to have the support of so many of our most accomplished military leaders," Romney said in a statement. "Together we will restore our military might and ensure that America can defend and protect our interests, our allies, and our people, both at home and abroad. I will never forget that the greatest responsibility of an American president is in exercising the role of commander-in-chief. That role is sacred, and when I am president, I will never put my own political interests ahead of our military and our men and women in uniform."

Among the better-known military men endorsing Romney today are Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the key architect of the military plan to oust Saddam Hussein, former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Conway, former Pacific Command chief Adm. Timothy Keating, and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was the top military officer at the end of the Clinton administration and who led the planning for the 1999 intervention in Kosovo. Shelton endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2008.

The Mitt Romney campaign announced Wednesday it has stood up a Military Advisory Council made up of more than 300 retired generals and admirals who are ready to do battle for the Republican nominee.

"I am deeply honored to have the support of so many of our most accomplished military leaders," Romney said in a statement. "Together we will restore our military might and ensure that America can defend and protect our interests, our allies, and our people, both at home and abroad. I will never forget that the greatest responsibility of an American president is in exercising the role of commander-in-chief. That role is sacred, and when I am president, I will never put my own political interests ahead of our military and our men and women in uniform."

Among the better-known military men endorsing Romney today are Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the key architect of the military plan to oust Saddam Hussein, former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Conway, former Pacific Command chief Adm. Timothy Keating, and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was the top military officer at the end of the Clinton administration and who led the planning for the 1999 intervention in Kosovo. Shelton endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2008.

"I’m proud to be supporting Mitt Romney in this critical election about our nation’s future," Franks said. "Governor Romney is committed to restoring America’s leadership role in the world. Instead of playing politics with our military, he will strengthen our defense posture by reversing the president’s devastating defense cuts. The fact of the matter is that we cannot afford another four years of feckless foreign policy. We need level-headed leadership which will protect our interests and defend our values with clarity and without apology."

"I consider the unprecedented national debt amongst the five greatest threats to the security of our great nation," said Conway. "And yet, I see no indication the current administration, if re-elected, is intent on changing that trajectory.  Clearly defense should bear a portion of the burden in order to regain control of our debt, but the idea of massive military cuts — at a time of increased global instability — should not even be in the cards. As I listen to Mitt Romney, I am convinced that he ‘gets it’."

Romney campaign aides told The Cable that the council isn’t set to have any formal meetings, but that each member has expressed his willingness to endorse the governor and provide expert national security advice if called upon to do so.

"The great thing about the list is the size of it," one aide said. "Just an enormous outpouring of support for the governor. And with it comes a broad range of expertise."

You can view the entire list here.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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