Cruz announces national security team


Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Thursday announced his national security advisory team, consisting mostly of anti-establishment national security experts.

Members of Cruz's national security team include Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, former Senator Jim Talent, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, and former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who was also on Marco Rubio’s short-lived national security team.

“I am honored and humbled to have a range of respected voices willing to offer their best advice,” Cruz said in a statement. “These are trusted friends who will form a core of our broader national security team. After two terms of a failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy, our allies are confused and frightened, and our enemies are looking for opportunities. This is the moment for all those who believe in a strong America that is secure at home and respected abroad to come together and craft a new path forward.”

The announcement comes as Cruz seeks to beat Donald Trump in the remaining primary states by drawing a contrast with the current front-runner on conservative principles and national security matters.

“Senator Cruz has a perfect record of support for Israel in the Senate, and he has made it clear that he believes a strong Israel is America’s key ally and asset in the Middle East,” Abrams said in a statement. “He will put an end to the tensions of the Obama years that have weakened the US-Israel alliance. He is very clearly the most pro-Israel candidate in the race today.”

The following are members of Ted Cruz’s national security coalition:

Elliott Abrams was an assistant secretary of State in the Reagan administration and a deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration; he is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Stewart Baker served as assistant secretary for policy at DHS, as general counsel of the National Security Agency, and as general counsel of the bipartisan commission that investigated intelligence failures involving WMD and Iraq.

Ilan Berman is vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, and an expert on Iran, Russia and radical Islam.

Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin is a retired US Army Delta Force and Green Beret commander and the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council.

Fred Fleitz is senior vice president of the Center for Security Policy and a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst.

Randy Fort has served in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations in senior positions in the intelligence community, and is currently an executive with the Raytheon Company.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under President Reagan.

Nile Gardiner is a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Mike Gonzalez is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a former speechwriter for the Bush Administration and editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal.

Katharine C. Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security.

Steven Groves is a Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation where he concentrates on the protection of American sovereignty, treaties, and international law.

Mary Habeck is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where she studies al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and jihadi-salafism, and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Kristofer L. Harrison is a co-founder of the China Beige Book and was an official in both the Departments of Defense and State in the George W. Bush administration.

Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain, is the principal director of the Stoneridge Group, a national security consultancy.

Michael Ledeen is freedom scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History, and is the author of more than 35 books, including the forthcoming The Field of Fight.

Clare M. Lopez is vice president for research & analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

Andy McCarthy is former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, led the prosecution of the “Blind Sheikh” and 11 other jihadists for waging a terrorist war against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing

Robert C. O’Brien is a partner at Larson O’Brien LLP; he was a senior foreign policy advisor to Gov. Scott Walker and Governor Mitt Romney, and was a US Representative to the UN General Assembly.

Michael Pillsbury was a Reagan campaign advisor in 1980, served as assistant undersecretary of defense for policy planning under President Reagan, and is the author of three books on China.

Charles “Cully” Stimson is the senior legal fellow and manager of National Security Law Program at The Heritage Foundation; he is a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs.

Jim Talent was a U.S. senator from Missouri and served on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for twelve years; he is currently a senior fellow specializing in military preparedness at the American Enterprise Institute.

Daniel P. Vajdich is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and was Governor Scott Walker’s deputy foreign policy director and lead staffer for Europe and Eurasia on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Christian Whiton was a State Department senior advisor and deputy special envoy during the George W. Bush administration; he is the author of Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War, and is a principal at DC International Advisory.

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