September 09, 2019

2020 Democratic Primary Debates: Questions for the Candidates

By ​Neil Bhatiya, Susanna V. Blume, Kara Frederick, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Daniel Kliman, Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Loren DeJonge Schulman, and Kayla M. Williams

Democratic presidential candidates will gather on stage this week for the next primary debate of the 2020 election. At this debate, the candidates will outline their policy agendas and field a variety of questions.

As part of their commitment to confronting tough questions on U.S. national security, experts from CNAS have produced a series of questions from their respective fields that they would like the candidates to be asked during this week's debates:

  • Neil Bhatiya, Associate Fellow for Energy, Economics, and Security: Congress currently gives the president broad powers to impose sanctions and tariffs in response to national security emergencies that he can declare at will - something which many of you have criticized for alienating allies. As president, would you work with Congress to limit your own executive authority in this sphere?
  • Susanna Blume, Program Director for Defense: What is the most serious threat to U.S. national security today and what would you, as president, do about it?
  • Kara Frederick, Associate Fellow for Technology and National Security: After a spate of privacy scandals, the disinformation problem, and ongoing free speech debate, Washington is turning its eye toward regulation of "Big Tech." What policy options would influence the behavior of these companies for the good of the American people and stem a growing “techlash”?
  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Program Director for Transatlantic Security: Liberal democracy is under threat. How do you think about the challenges facing democracies, including our own, and what steps would you prioritize to safeguard democracy at home and abroad?
  • Dan Kliman, Program Director for Asia-Pacific Security: In the list of external challenges the United States confronts, where does China rank?
  • Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security: We are on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution, which will bring rapid disruptive change to all aspects of our lives. As president, how will you prepare the nation to harness the opportunities, and tackle the challenges and threats that we will face?
  • Elizabeth Rosenberg, Program Director for Energy, Economics, and Security: How should the United States compete economically with China and set the international best practices for trade and investment? What is the proper role of tariffs or investment restrictions to advance U.S. national security priorities?
  • Loren DeJonge Schulman, Deputy Director of Studies: What are the circumstances under which the United States should intervene militarily overseas? If you had been president, would you have supported military intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Rwanda, or Bosnia?
  • Kayla Williams, Program Director for Military, Veterans and Society: Do you support further expanding veterans' access to community care or shoring up the existing VA health care system?

All CNAS experts are available for interviews. To arrange one, please contact Cole Stevens at cstevens@cnas.org.

Authors

  • ​Neil Bhatiya

    Associate Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

    Neil Bhatiya is the Associate Fellow for the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. His work focuses on how the United States uses ...

  • Susanna V. Blume

    Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Susanna Blume is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include the Defense program and budget, defe...

  • Kara Frederick

    Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Kara Frederick is a Fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Kara helped create and lea...

  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She works on national security ch...

  • Daniel Kliman

    Senior Fellow and Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Daniel M. Kliman is Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is an expert in Asia-Pacific strategy,...

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Martijn served as a ...

  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publishes a...

  • Loren DeJonge Schulman

    Deputy Director of Studies

    Loren DeJonge Schulman is the Deputy Director of Studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Her research interests include nation...

  • Kayla M. Williams

    Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Kayla M. Williams is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She previously served as Dir...