The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, increased the urgency of developing strategies to address the short- and long-term threats of terrorism, while sustaining America’s role as a force for prosperity and stability abroad and at home. With the U.S. engaged in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and continuing to face “a persistent and evolving terrorist threat” from al Qaeda, national security and combating terrorism are at the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign. On September 19, the Opportunity 08 project at the Brookings Institution hosts influential policy advisors in its fifth forum on the nation’s most pressing policy challenges.
Participants included Antony Blinken, staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an advisor to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.); Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and an advisor to former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.); and Randy Scheunemann, a foreign policy and national security analyst who has been a long-time advisor to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). They examined how the politically charged issues of extremism and terrorism can—and should—affect next year’s election. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, director of Opportunity 08, moderated the discussion.
The event also included Brookings Fellow Hady Amr, and Senior Fellows Philip H. Gordon, Peter W. Rodman, and Tamara Cofman Wittes.
Opportunity 08 aims to help presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, providing ideas, policy forums, and information on a broad range of domestic and foreign policy questions.