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S TAT E M E N T F R O M N AT I O N A L S E C U R I T Y P R O F E S S I O N A L S

ON THE URGENT NEED TO UTILIZE THE DEFENSE


P R O D U C T I O N A C T F U L LY

March 25, 2020

What the United States faces at this perilous moment is principally a public health crisis. As national
security professionals and experts, however, we recognize that there are tools from our realm that
would be useful and, in some cases, indispensable to alleviating the impact of COVID-19 and,
above all, saving lives.

Chief among those indispensable tools is the Defense Production Act (DPA), which we urgently call
on President Trump to utilize immediately to the full extent. The delay in doing so is a grave
mistake.

The administration this week utilized the DPA on a narrow and limited basis, but America’s public
health professionals — as well as doctors and industry workers — continue to sound the alarm,
citing the increasingly urgent and dire need for ventilators, masks, testing supplies, and other
resources. Some private companies have been willing and able to scale up production — and
admirably so. But as governors and local leaders around the country are making clear, private
efforts without more extensive government support are proving far from sufficient to meet the
current and anticipated needs. Beyond questions of supply, the private sector lacks the ability to
process incoming requests, prioritize the most urgent needs, and coordinate with other companies
absent more concerted government involvement. That is precisely what the DPA is designed to do.

The DPA was written into law for a reason, and the equipment and supply shortages we face are
just the sort of supply chain shortfalls the law was designed to address. Congress must ensure the
full potential of the DPA is being leveraged in the midst of this crisis, and we applaud legislative
efforts that require the administration to actually use the tools at its disposal in a serious way.

President Trump has said he would utilize the DPA in a “worst-case scenario.” But the scenario we
face today is already well beyond any reasonable standard for utilizing the Act. All the President

will accomplish with additional delay is to place us farther down that “worst-case” trajectory.

If the ultimate objective is to save American lives, there is no alternative to utilizing the DPA
immediately and to the fullest extent.
L I S T O F S I G N ATO R I E S

Sandy Adams Tarun Chhabra


Retired Admiral (ret.) Former Director for Strategic Planning
Navy National Security Council

Clara L. Adams-Ender Rebecca Bill Chavez


Brigadier General (ret.) Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Army Western Hemisphere Affairs
Department of Defense
Wendy R. Anderson
Former Chief of Staff Stephen A. Cheney
Department of Defense Brigadier General (ret.)
Marine Corps
Ricardo Aponte
Brigadier General (ret.) Derek Chollet
Air Force Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Affairs
Wallace C. Arnold Department of Defense 
Brigadier General (ret.)
Army Lieutenant General (ret.) James Clapper
Former Director of National Intelligence
Don Arthur
Vice Admiral (ret.) Wesley Clark
Navy General (ret.)
Army
Tom Atkin
Former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Herman J. Cohen
Homeland Defense and Global Security Ambassador (ret.)
Department of Defense State Department

James E. Baker Brent Colburn


Former Legal Adviser Former Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
National Security Council Department of Homeland Security

Donna Barbisch Peter Cooke


Major General (ret.) Major General (ret.)
Army Army

Jeremy Bash Dirk Debbink


Former CIA and Department of Defense Chief of Vice Admiral (ret.)
Staff Navy 

Ronald Blanck Rudy deLeon


Lieutenant General (ret.) Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
Army Department of Defense

David P. Burford Abraham M. Denmark


Major General (ret.) Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Army East Asia
Department of Defense
Ambassador William J. Burns
Former Deputy Secretary of State James Doty
State Department Brigadier General (ret.)
Army
John Douglass Irv Halter
Brigadier General (ret.) Major General (ret.)
Air Force Air Force

Paul Eaton Janice Hamby


Major General (ret.) Rear Admiral (ret.)
Army Navy

Mari K. Eder Bob Harding


Major General (ret.) Major General (ret.)
Army Army

Dwayne Edwards Jerry Harrison


Brigadier General (ret.) Major General (ret.)
Army Army

Robert J. Felderman  Don Harvel


Brigadier General (ret.) Brigadier General (ret.)
Army Air Force

Jon Finer Oona Hathaway


Former Chief of Staff Former Special Counsel to the General Counsel
State Department Department of Defense

Michele A. Flournoy General (ret.) Michael V. Hayden


Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Former Director of NSA and Director of CIA
Department of Defense NSA and CIA

Michael Franken Kathleen Hicks


Vice Admiral (ret.) Former Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy
Navy Department of Defense

Joshua A. Geltzer Richard Holwill


Former Senior Director for Counterterrorism & Ambassador (ret.)
Deputy Legal Advisor State Department
National Security Council
Vicki Huddleston
Larry Gillespie Ambassador (ret.)
Brigadier General (ret.) State Department
Army
Andrew Hunter
Philip H. Gordon Former Director of the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell
Former Special Assistant to the President Department of Defense 
National Security Council
John Hutson
Gordon Gray Rear Admiral (ret.)
Ambassador (ret.) Navy
State Department
David R. Irvine
Kevin P. Green Brigadier General (ret.)
Vice Admiral (ret.) Army
Navy
Debra Lee James
Chuck Hagel Former Secretary of the Air Force
Former Secretary of Defense Department of Defense
Department of Defense
Arlen D. Jameson Edward Marks
Lieutenant General (ret.) Ambassador (ret.)
Air Force State Department 

Dennis C. Jett Frederick H. Martin


Ambassador (ret.) Major General (ret.)
State Department Air Force

John Johns Carlos E. Martinez


Brigadier General (ret.) Brigadier General (ret.)
Army Air Force

Frank Kendall J. R. McBrien


Former Under Secretary of Defense for Former Senior Executive Service
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Department of Treasury
Department of Defense
Mike McCord
Patrick Kennedy Former Under Secretary of Defense
Ambassador (ret.) (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer
State Department Department of Defense

Jimmy Kolker David McGinnis


Ambassador (ret.) Brigadier General (ret.)
State Department Army

Jeremy Konyndyk Joseph V. Medina


Former Director of the Office of US Foreign Brigadier General (ret.)
Disaster Assistance Marine Corps
USAID
James N. Miller
Lawrence Korb Former Under Secretary for Policy
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Department of Defense
Manpower, Installations and Logistics
Department of defense Katrina Mulligan
Former Director for Preparedness and Response
Jonathan Lachman Department of Justice
Former Associate Director for National Security
Programs Ronald E. Neumann
White House Office of Management and Budget Ambassador (ret.)
State Department
Bruce S. Lemkin
Former Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force Matt Olsen
Air Force  Former Director
National Counterterrorism Center
Phil Leventis
Brigadier General (ret) Richard Olson
USAF/SC Air National Guard Ambassador (ret.)
State Department
Kelly Magsamen
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Charley Otstott
Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Lieutenant General (ret.)
Department of Defense Army

Randy Manner W. Robert Pearson


Major General (ret.) Ambassador (ret.)
Army State Department
Gale S. Pollock David B. Shear
Former Acting Surgeon General Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Army Department of Defense

Samantha Power Wendy R. Sherman


Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Former Undersecretary of State for Political
Affairs
Jeffrey Prescott State Department
Former Special Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs Michael E. Smith
National Security Council Rear Admiral (ret.)
Navy
Charles Schuster Ray
Ambassador (ret.) Julianne Smith
State Department Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the
Vice President
Ben Rhodes Office of the Vice President
Former Deputy National Security Adviser
National Security Council Jake Sullivan
Former National Security Adviser to the Vice
Susan E. Rice President 
Former National Security Adviser
National Security Council  Loree Sutton
Brigadier General (ret.)
Eric Rosenbach Army
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Homeland Defense and Global Security Francis X. Taylor
Department of Defense Brigadier General (ret.)
Air Force
Mara Rudman
Former Deputy Assistant to the President for Jim Townsend
National Security Affairs Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
National Security Council European and NATO Policy
Department of Defense
Rexon Ryu
Former Chief of Staff F. Andrew Turley
Department of Defense Major General (ret.)
Air Force
Robin Rene Sanders
Ambassador (ret.) Edward Walker
State Department Ambassador (ret.)
State Department
John Schuster
Brigadier General (ret.) George H. Walls
Army Brigadier General (ret.)
Marine Corps
Amy Searight
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for John Watkins
South and Southeast Asia Brigadier General (ret.)
Department of Defense Army

Joe Sestak Earl Anthony Wayne


Rear Admiral (ret.) Ambassador (ret.)
Navy State Department
Andy Weber
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear,
Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
Department of Defense

Willie Williams
Lieutenant General (ret.)
Marine Corps

Margaret Wilmoth
Major General (ret.)
Army

General (ret.) Johnnie Wilson


Former Commanding General, Army Materiel
Command
Army

Doug Wilson
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public
Affairs
Department of Defense

James Winnefeld
Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Department of Defense

Robert O. Work
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
Department of Defense

Stephen N. Xenakis
Brigadier General (ret.)
Army

Dave Zabecki
Major General (ret.)
Army