ISW Tribute to Senator John McCain
ISW President Kimberly Kagan discusses America’s national security with Senator McCain in November 2014, when ISW’s Board of Directors honored him with the National Security Leadership Award for his distinguished service to the United States.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) was profoundly saddened to learn that Senator John McCain passed away on August 25, 2018. Senator McCain was a dear and longtime friend of the ISW team.
Senator McCain addressed ISW’s 2017 Security Conference on America’s role as the indispensable global leader. He spoke eloquently about the challenges the U.S. must overcome to advance two inseparable concepts: its interests and its values. Senator McCain memorably quipped that it would be a mistake to bet against the United States: “…we have some very serious challenges, but none that I don't think we could overcome - all of us together,” by relying on the tremendous national assets and capacities America possesses.
Senator McCain’s legacy was written in part during his 36 years of faithful public service. As summarized by his staff, he “committed his life – both in uniform and in Congress – to strengthening America’s national defense and providing for our service members” and “spent his career fighting to defend the freedom, dignity, and human rights of people around the world.”
ISW President and Founder Kimberly Kagan issued the following statement on August 28, 2018:
"Democracy is the best form of government because it provides its citizens the opportunity to exercise their distinctive human capacities fully in the service of their country. The abilities to reason, speak, and choose distinguish humans from other animals. Every American citizen is blessed with the extraordinary gift of human freedom, guaranteed by our Constitution.
Americans are free people. We are free to choose how we live our lives. We have opportunities that all the world seeks.
Americans each have a choice to make. How will we exercise our freedom? How will we serve our country? What will we do to secure it? What will we do to prepare our younger citizens for these responsibilities? And what will we do to help other less fortunate human beings exercise their full human capacity, so that they too may reason, speak, and choose freely?
Senator John McCain chose to devote his entire life to serving his nation and the interests of freedom, democracy, and human dignity around the world. There can be no better answer to these questions than the one he gave.
I founded the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in 2007 to be a magnet that brings together many who accept the responsibility that each of us has, as a citizen of this great country, to act to secure it. Senator McCain took ISW’s first briefing and has been a friend and inspiration to me, the ISW team, and ISW’s Board of Directors. We have had the privilege of honoring him with our National Security Leadership Award in 2014, celebrating his lifetime of public service.
ISW remembers Senator McCain fondly, mourns his loss, and will continue to draw upon his legacy as a model of a responsible American citizen."
Senator John McCain receives a standing ovation as he arrives at the 2017 ISW Security Conference. Senator McCain and ISW Board Chairman General (Ret.) Jack Keane discussued America's global leadership role on a panel at the conference held in September 2017.