Major General Paul D. Eaton, US Army (Ret)
Major General Paul D. Eaton served more than 30 years in the United States Army, including combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. As a major general he was assigned to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), where he designed, manned, trained and equipped the Iraqi armed forces for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the security forces for the Interior Ministry. Prior to that assignment, he commanded the Army’s Infantry Center and was Chief of Infantry for the Army. Eaton has appeared on a number of news and commentary programs including Face the Nation, Hardball and all major networks. During the 2008 campaign season, he advised candidates for both congressional and presidential campaigns. He holds a bachelor’s degree from West Point and a master’s in French Political Science from Middlebury College. He is married to PJ, has two sons and a daughter, all soldiers.
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In the News
In response to today’s bipartisan Senate vote confirming Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Major General (ret) Paul Eaton, senior adviser to the National Security Network, issued the following statement: ”As a soldier, there are few criteria more important for leadership than a clear chain of command and the ability to make difficult decisions based [...]
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal interviews NSN’s Major General (ret.) Paul Eaton on the practicality of the U.S. military purchasing more tanks.
Can Veteran Hagel Bridge Gap Between Pentagon and VA? By Leo Shane January 30, 2013 | Stars & Stripes WASHINGTON – If former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel can survive his nomination fight in the Senate, President Barack Obama’s second-term Cabinet will become the first to boast Vietnam veterans leading the departments of defense, state and [...]
Obama nominates Chuck Hagel as next secretary of defense By Jennifer Hlad January 7, 2013 | Stars and Stripes WASHINGTON – In 1967, Chuck Hagel volunteered to serve in the Army, trained as an infantryman, and was slated to go to Germany to test the first shoulder-fired heat seeking missile. Instead, he asked to go [...]
Chuck Hagel Iraq Opposition Encourages Generals Who Revolted By Josh Hersh January 7, 2013 | Huffington Post President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense elevates a man who made his reputation as an unabashed critic of the war in Iraq. To some, Monday’s nomination of Hagel, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran [...]
Statement on Nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense In response to today’s nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, Major General (ret.) Paul D. Eaton, Senior Advisor at the National Security Network, released the following statement: “Senator Hagel is a decorated war veteran and a strong choice to run the [...]
Major Gen. Paul Eaton and Sen. Jack Reed Quoted In National Defense Magazine On Army’s Plan For Post-Afghanistan
“We have to prepare for a spectrum of operations [but] we can reduce land forces,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former U.S. Army Ranger.
“We need a smaller force with a much broader array of skills [and we must] amplify power with technology,” he said during a conference hosted by the National Security Network.
NSN senior adviser Paul D. Eaton, retired Army major general and former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said world events prove that the United States must find a way to rely less on military force, and more on a mix of diplomatic and economic approaches.
Post-war drawdowns are “gut wrenching,” said Eaton, who was on active duty when the Army downsized after the Vietnam War and the Cold War. The cutbacks that the Obama administration recommended are modest by comparison, he said.
“The Army exists to fight and win the nation’s wars,” Eaton said. Its size, however, needs to match the nation’s foreign policy appetite for military force. When the Iraq War started, for instance, the Army was not sized or equipped adequately for such a large operation. That is why so many soldiers, including Eaton’s sons, had to serve 18-month long tours, instead of the standard 12 months. “We didn’t have enough forces to meet the ambitions.”
AUDIO RELEASE: Sen. Jack Reed, Retired Military Discuss Politics and Policies of Foreign Policy Debate
Tonight in Florida, the presidential debate on foreign policy will be the last big chance for the candidates to prove to the American people theirs is the right path for U.S. foreign policy. On a press call with the National Security Network, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Maj. Gen. (ret) Paul D. Eaton, Dr. Lawrence Korb [...]
Retired US Major General Paul Eaton, who is now a senior adviser with the left-leaning National Security Network, says that would mean cutting the State Department out of the equation and dumping “everything that you want to do as a nation in the foreign policy arena on the shoulders of the Defense Department”—even though “they don’t want it.”
Today, the National Security Network held a press call with senior diplomatic, military and security experts to offer perspective on yesterday’s tragic violence in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other members of the diplomatic staff. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, Major General Paul Eaton, Tom Malinowski and Brian Katulis [...]
Romney can deliver US from overseas, domestic threats: Rice August 30, 2012 | AFP TAMPA, Florida — Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday hailed Mitt Romney as the leader who can rescue America from foreign and domestic threats that she said have flourished during Barack Obama’s presidency. The former top US diplomat [...]
AUDIO RELEASE: Military Community Confounded By Romney, Conservatives’ Attempts to Politicize Veterans in Ohio, Misjudge Their Interests Abroad
Today, leaders from Center for American Progress Action Fund, National Security Network, VoteVets.org and Ohio and Pennsylvania veterans held a press call to discuss attempts by Mitt Romney and Ohio conservatives’ attempts to restrict voting rights for Ohioans –including nearly 1 million veterans. Listen to the call HERE Mitt Romney and his fellow conservatives are [...]
Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton Quoted In Washington Times on Military Service for Presidential Candidates
“You don’t have to spend too much time in the service for it to have a complete imprint” on your life experience, said retired Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, a 30-year Army veteran who served in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia.
P.J. Crowley, former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, and Major General Paul Eaton join Hardball to discuss Mitt Romney’s criticism about President Obama’s handling of the violent situation in Syria. MATTHEWS: We`re back. Amid escalating violence over there in Syria, where last week, dozens of children were brutally killed. The United States [...]
Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton Quoted in New York Times on Lessons from Vietnam, Civilian-Military Relations
Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, a retired officer whose father’s name is on the Vietnam wall, said the lesson Mr. Obama should take was to “stay ahead of the generals” and not go in “if your gut tells you that there is no vital national interest.” He said he was “in some ways” disappointed that Mr. Obama escalated the effort in Afghanistan at first, but he praised him for pulling troops out of Iraq and setting a path to withdrawing from Afghanistan. “President Obama has successfully buried the notion that Democrats can’t be powerful actors in the arena of national security affairs,” he said.
Paul Eaton, a major general in the US Army who retired in 2006 and now advises a Washington think tank called the National Security Network, describes a meeting he attended in Kampala, Uganda, this May, convened by the American general in charge of the Africa Command, or AfriCom. The top commanders of 35 militaries on the continent gather every other year, hash out policy matters, and forge personal ties.
“It was as much diplomacy and politics as anything else,” Eaton said. “Nobody could give me an example of the State Department doing anything like that.”
By Darcy Burner and Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton Kirkland Patch, May 27, 2012
Morning Defense: Mattis, McRaven to SASC … Walter Jones ‘hopeful more than optimistic’ on sequestration … Obama pushes diplomacy, Netanyahu derides sanctions By Austin Wright March 6, 2012 | Politico [...]QUICK HITS – – Obama will speak at the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony on May 23. http://bit.ly/zCeDEc – Al Qaeda in Iraq is trying [...]
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Eaton Quoted On Military.com On Urging The President Not To Go To War With Iran
“There is a national reflex on the conservative part [of the] political spectrum to reach for the military option first and others second,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, commander of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, when he developed and oversaw the training of the Iraqi military and security forces.
Inside Story Americas, Al Jazeera March 3, 2012