ISW Awards Senator Joseph Lieberman for National Security Leadership

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Contact: Maggie Rackl
(202) 293-5550 x205
Washington, D.C. – On November 13, 2012, the Institute for the Study of War presented the second annual ISW Award for National Security Leadership to Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT). The ISW Award for National Security Leadership honors an individual who embodies exceptional service, intellect, and leadership in national security.  The award was presented at ISW’s second annual President’s Circle dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.
ISW Founder and President Kimberly Kagan and General Dynamics Executive Vice President for Marine Systems John Casey, sponsor of the 2012 award, presented the award to Lieberman.
Sen. Lieberman and Dr. Kagan held a candid, hour-long, on-the-record conversation that covered a broad swath of national security issues, including: the enduring importance of the Middle East for U.S. national security, the threat of violent Islamic extremism, Iranian hegemonic and nuclear ambitions, the strategic pivot to Asia, and the dire impacts of a reduced U.S. defense budget.  Lieberman observed, “The less money we commit to defense the smaller and less adequately equipped the military will be and the fewer responsibilities it can take on. You don’t have to be a genius to know that.”   
Lieberman will retire in January 2013 after a 40 year career as an elected official. Senator Lieberman has served four terms representing Connecticut in the United States Senate, his final term as an Independent.  Senator Lieberman’s service has been characterized by his thoughtfulness, his principled leadership, and his effectiveness as a legislator.  He will depart the Senate as one of Congress’s most influential voices on security issues; a strong and consistent advocate for using America’s military might to defend America’s interests and values when they are seriously endangered.  Dr. Kagan noted that Senator Lieberman “has an extraordinary determination… To keep one’s eye on the larger issues that are at stake, and again, to do so many times when it is not in one’s political interest or in one’s personal interest to do so, and to just hold to that course doggedly because it’s the right thing to do, is really an amazing quality and has certainly been inspiring to me.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), longtime friend and colleague of Senator Lieberman, reflected on their years of service together at the dinner, saying, “…once in a while, you encounter someone who truly can’t be replaced. Joe Lieberman is that kind of man…There will never be another Joe Lieberman.”
The 2012 ISW Award for National Security Leadership was sponsored by General Dynamics, a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems; armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technology.
Videos and transcripts of the on-the-record discussion and award ceremony are available here.
For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact Maggie Rackl at
or at (202) 293-5550 x205.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.