Joe Biden — The National Security Leader We Need for North Carolina

By Chris Cole, Sean Baker, Margaret Wilmoth, Dean Taylor, David Delaney, and Rick Devereaux

Photo credit: Max PIxel

We are military veterans and North Carolina residents with strategic planning, medical, legal, and other professional experience. Joe Biden is our choice for president, and we know he is the right national security leader for North Carolina.

Character is the essential foundation of good leadership. Joe Biden models and matches the integrity and commitment of the nation’s military and broader security community. He has earned our respect and we trust his leadership, especially in difficult times.

The Covid-19 pandemic is one of those times. The current surge in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and positive testing rates makes it North Carolina’s most pressing emergency concern. Health care providers share firsthand the pain of our patients’ families who mourn avoidable deaths. We treat the acutely ill and the chronic sufferers. Our workforce is shrinking. We face relentless mental health challenges — our own and those of our patients — made worse by the ongoing assault on health care options in rural communities and other areas of greatest need.

We must have a president who shares our concerns and will make full use of the Defense Production Act to deliver the personal protective equipment, tests, vaccines, and critical resources our communities and health professionals desperately need.

North Carolina’s other priority national security concerns include climate and cybersecurity risks. The N.C. climate risk plan identified sea-level rise and more frequent, intense hurricanes as priority concerns. Military strategies and federal law have long acknowledged those risks. Infrastructure damage at N.C.’s coastal installations totaled $3.6 billion in 2018 alone. The Marine Corps lists Camp Lejeune as a top climate-vulnerable base. We need a president to soberly confront climate change for the geopolitical, economic, and other risks it presents.

Cybersecurity is no less critical. The Justice Department’s recent indictment of Russian hackers demonstrates the tenacity and reach of global cyber actors. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and especially harmful. North Carolina cities, schools, university contractors, and companies have been struck this year, and voting systems in battleground states remain prime targets. Strategic federal-state cybersecurity planning that is coordinated with the private sector is essential.

As vice president, Joe Biden has provided that kind of collaborative leadership. He builds consensus and applies expert advice to improve decisions. We personally know how that mindset brings success to battlefields, hurricane response zones, cyber operations teams, operating rooms, and the president’s situation room.

That mindset will also promote national unity at a time when real civil rights concerns are met with contempt and defense department efforts to promote unity in the ranks are thwarted. As a result, force readiness is degraded, and civil-military relations approach an all-time low.

North Carolina and the military are closely aligned. The military supports more than 540,000 jobs and contributes over $30 billion in personal income to residents. Those in the military are not “losers” or “suckers” to Joe Biden. He engenders their trust and will enable our military leaders to build a capable, unified force. And he will enact Congress’s $740 billion 2021 defense spending bill to support the military installations in North Carolina.

We trust Joe Biden to marshal the expertise, resources, legal authority, international relationships, and popular support needed to benefit the nation and North Carolina during the Covid-19 pandemic and the next emergency.

For the good of North Carolina’s public health, environment, service members, veterans, aspiring national security professionals, and economy, a vote for Joe Biden is essential.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Chris Cole and Sergeant Major (Ret.) Sean Baker co-lead National Security Leaders for Biden in North Carolina. Major General (Ret.) Margaret Wilmoth, Ph.D., R.N., leads Nurses for Biden in North Carolina. Colonel (Ret.) Dean Taylor, M.D., leads Service Academy Physicians for Biden. Major General (Ret.) Rick Devereaux and David Delaney are members of National Security Leaders for Biden.