As President Obama’s second term winds down and the 2016 presidential election draws ever closer, the United States finds itself involved in two wars and other global hotspots continue to flare. As is often the case, defense and national security will be critical topics for the next president. Questions remain about which defense issues are likely to dominate the campaigns over the coming months and how should the next president handle these issues once in office. In addition, with the defense budget continuing to contract, what does the future hold for U.S. military and national security readiness, and will those constraints cause the next president to alter U.S. strategy overseas?
On February 1, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted an event examining defense and security options for the next president. Panelists included Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute, Robert Kagan of Brookings, and James Miller, former undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, author of “The Future of Land Warfare” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015), moderated the discussion.