By Susan Koch
Today the Steady State honors the memory of Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (ret.), who passed away on August 6, 2020. We are a group of veteran U.S. national security professionals who have come together, in the words of our mission statement, to help “reestablish a bipartisan foreign and security policy that promotes the national interest, advances national security, and rebuilds U.S. credibility with our allies.” General Scowcroft was the very essence of a dedicated public servant, who devoted his professional life to the same principles and goals that motivate the Steady State. All who knew and worked with him mourn his passing, and hope to honor his memory by redoubling our commitment to the principles and ideals that he embodied.
General Scowcroft was the only person to serve two Presidents as National Security Advisor: Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. President Bush’s term was a time of exceptional international upheaval, witnessing the first Gulf War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. General Scowcroft was an unfailing source of wise counsel and leadership in building the successful Gulf War coalition, and helping to ensure that the seismic changes in Central and Eastern Europe proceeded peacefully with new alliances and partnerships replacing former enmities.
General Scowcroft was National Security Advisor to two Republican Presidents, but an important advisor to Democratic Presidents as well. His guiding principle was the national interest, more than narrow partisan concerns. One way in which he demonstrated that principle was his insistence that his staff work closely with President-elect Clinton’s transition team, to ensure as smooth a transition as possible between the two Administrations.
Furthermore, General Scowcroft defined the national interest broadly, recognizing that our close partnerships and alliances were critical to U.S. security and well being. It is fitting that General Scowcroft was honored by the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but also that he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was awarded the German Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, and the Japanese Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
While we mourn General Scowcroft’s passing, we in the Steady State are grateful for all he did for the nation and the world. In these times especially, we are also grateful for what he showed us about what good government can and should be, and that we believe would once again be put into practice in a Biden Administration.
Photo by Cherie Cullen — This Image was released by the United States Department of Defense