October 17, 2016

CNAS Press Note: What the Candidates Should be Asked at the Next Debate

Washington, October 17 – In advance of the presidential debate on national security on Wednesday October 19, experts from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) have produced a series of questions from their respective fields that they would like to see Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump asked. Each of these experts is available for interviews:

  • CNAS President Richard Fontaine: “When, as president, would you be prepared to use military force? Would you, for example, use the U.S. military to fight terrorists? Defend treaty allies? Intervene in a civil war? Stop genocide? What principles would guide you in making these decisions?”
  • Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg: “You have both stated that you would consider a safe zone or no fly zone in Syria. This type of operation would clearly require a commitment of American military power. What kind of resources – including American troop commitments – would be necessary? What would be the precise objective of this operation? Is it purely humanitarian or also strategic? Are you concerned this type of action could put the United States in direct military conflict with Russia?”
  • Military, Veterans, and Society Program Director Phillip Carter: “The All-Volunteer Force has carried a heavy burden during the past 15 years of war; this burden will likely continue to remain heavy during the years to come. What is your plan to sustain the All-Volunteer Force and support the 2.4 million men and women who serve in uniform, and their families?”
  • Strategy and Statecraft Program Director Julianne Smith: “Past presidents have operated under the premise that Russia has a fundamental interest in moving closer to the West. Is it time to either abandon that assumption or at least revisit it?”
  • Energy, Economics, and Security Program Director Elizabeth Rosenberg: “Secretary Clinton has stated she would like the United States to be a ‘21st Century clean energy superpower,” and Mr. Trump has put forward an ‘America first energy plan.’ Specifically, how do you define American leadership on energy and how does this translate into U.S. national security gains?”
  • Senior Fellow Robert Kaplan: “Given Russia’s aggression in three separate theaters – Syria, Ukraine, and the Baltic States – how should the United States halt Russia’s advance?”
  • CNAS Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby: “Credible wargaming suggests Russian forces could occupy the Baltic States before the U.S. and its allies could respond, and then threaten to escalate to nuclear war to deter NATO from ejecting them. How would you respond to this situation?”    
  • Senior Fellow Adam Klein: “Do you think the government collects too much or too little information from email, internet traffic, and other electronic sources in order to protect the country against terrorists and other foreign threats?”
  • Military, Veterans, and Society Program Fellow Katherine Kidder: “What is your assessment of how well Congress is fulfilling its role in meeting U.S. national security objectives and, as president, what would your strategy be in working with them to provide the nation’s security?”

CNAS experts are available for interviews on the substance of the debates. To arrange one, please contact Neal Urwitz at [email protected], or call 202-457-9409.