The Cable

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 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.

The Cable

Chinese government canceled visa for former U.S. ambassador

Former U.S. ambassador to China and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was set to give a speech in China last month, but the Chinese Communist Party government intervened and thwarted his visa application, he told Foreign Policy.

"I was supposed to be there a month ago giving a speech, but they cancelled my visa," Huntsman said in an exclusive interview with FP's resident China hand Isaac Stone Fish.

Huntsman was set to speak at the World Money Show in Shanghai in September, but the Chinese government leaned on the organizers to uninvite him, he said.

"Well, the group that was bringing me in to speak, the organizers, they had a little pressure put on them, shall we say," he said. "I think it was pretty overt pressure."

Huntsman said his penchant for speaking critically about the Chinese government's treatment of its own citizens was just too risky for the China at its political leadership is preparing for a major transition.

"Why [was the visa denied]? Because I talk too much about human rights and American values, and they know that, and at a time of leadership realignment, the biggest deal in 10 years for them, they didn't want the former U.S. ambassador saying stuff that might create a narrative that they would have to fight, and I understand that," Huntsman said.

"But when the transition is done, the crazy American ambassador will be let back in, and I can say whatever I want."

Read the entire interview here.

Update: Huntsman's office, after the interview was published, provided this clarification:

"The governor's invitation to speak, not his visa, was rescinded for political reasons. The governor misspoke in the interview, citing a canceled visa when he meant to say cancelled invitation."

 

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