(Heritage Foundation) To mark this year’s Veterans Day, a group of Heritage Foundation national security experts—all of whom proudly served our country in the U.S. military—issued a statement supporting Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
For months, Tuberville has insisted the Department of Defense rescind its illegal policy allowing taxpayer-funded abortions.
The following statement is from Robert Greenway, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense; JV Venable, senior research fellow, defense policy; Dakota Wood, senior research fellow, defense programs; Wilson Beaver, senior policy analyst, defense budgeting; James Jay Carafano, senior counselor to the president and E.W. Richardson fellow; and Steven Bucci, visiting fellow. Biographies of each Heritage veteran can be found below the statement.
“We stand united in our support of Sen. Tuberville’s opposition to the Department of Defense’s illegal and immoral policies that attempt to bypass U.S. law and which further erode America’s trust in the capability of the U.S. armed forces to fulfill its mission.
“In February 2023, the Department of Defense circumvented Congress and issued new policies that violate the law by using taxpayer funds to enable service members to obtain an abortion and to indemnify department staff who may violate state criminal protections of the unborn. The American people have indicated time and again that they do not approve of using taxpayer funds to fund and promote abortions.
“It is essential those who take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States comply with our laws. Failure to do so undermines public trust and confidence and the chain of command.
“Claims that the pending appointments of senior defense officials leave gaps which impact readiness are misplaced. Sen. Tuberville is only opposing the block advancement of nominations by unanimous consent. Our military is fortunate to have fully qualified officers capable of fulfilling the duties of any vacant position in its ranks.
“Assertions that Sen. Tuberville’s ‘hold’ alone prevents Senate confirmation are incorrect. The Senate majority leader can, and has, invoked cloture and moved select promotions to the floor for a vote. The approval of key service leaders over the past few months is proof of this; when it is actually important enough to have an official in a specific job, the Senate finds a legal, common-sense, and timely remedy. Nothing that Sen. Tuberville is doing prevents this.
“Attempts to misdirect public attention from unlawful policies of the Department of Defense, which undermine civil-military relations and erode the foundation of our armed forces by pursuing a political agenda at the expense of its mission, are misplaced.
“Sen. Tuberville is taking a principled stand that strengthens our constitutional democracy, and as veterans we support his opposition to these policies for the sake of our military, the rule of law, and the unborn.”
Robert Greenway leads and directs the work of Heritage’s Center for National Defense. He has more than 30 years of experience in public service, including at the White House National Security Council, as a senior intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and a veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces with six combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
JV Venable, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served in three combat operations, researches and writes about the plans, programs, and operational capabilities of the Department of Defense, in particular air and space matters. While serving in the Air Force, he was commander of the celebrated Thunderbirds.
Dakota Wood’s research and writing focus on programs, capabilities, operational concepts, and strategies of the U.S. Department of Defense and military services. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel in 2005. During his service as a Marine, he served with a variety of operational units and in various high-level staff assignments.
Wilson Beaver conducts research on the adequacy, composition, and character of the U.S. defense budget and associated policies. He previously served as a non-commissioned officer and team leader in the U.S. Army. During his time in the Army, he served as a paratrooper in the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
James Carafano, a 25-year Army veteran with a master’s and doctorate from Georgetown University, joined Heritage in 2003 as a senior research fellow in homeland security and missile defense.He previously served as the vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy.
Steven Bucci, who served America for three decades as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer and former deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon, is a visiting fellow at Heritage. He previously was director of Heritage’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies.