Regarding the Dec. 21 front-page article “Vietnam scars still show in Hagel’s policies”:

We strongly object, as a matter of substance and as a matter of principle, to the attacks on the character of former senator Chuck Hagel. Mr. Hagel is a man of unshakable integrity and wisdom who has served his country in the most distinguished manner in peace and war.

He is a rare example of a public servant willing to rise above partisan politics to advance the interests of the United States and its friends and allies. Moreover, it is damaging to the quality of our civic discourse for prospective Cabinet nominees to be subjected to such vicious attacks on their character before an official nomination.

This type of behavior will only discourage future prospective nominees from public service when our country badly needs quality leadership in government. 

James L. Jones,

Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski

and Frank Carlucci

The writers are former U.S. national security advisers.