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Event Recap: “National Security Inheritance: Setting the Next President’s Agenda”

Event Recap: “National Security Inheritance: Setting the Next President’s Agenda”

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On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Center for New American Security (CNAS) hosted a conference titled, “National Security Inheritance: Setting the Next President’s Agenda.” The conference featured panelists from the private and public sectors as well as key note speakers, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Vice President Joe Biden.

The conference provided a general overview of the concerns and considerations the incoming administration might face. The following issues were addressed:

  • The continuation of gender integration in the private and public sectors
  • The necessity for internal defense innovation
  • The importance of security networking with partner nations
  • The destruction and end of terrorist organizations

Resolution, not recognition, of these challenges demand certain traits from a presidential candidate.  Keynote speaker, Vice President Joe Biden provided particular insight into this, noting that the next president would inherit alliance opportunities with nations such as Cuba, as well as the continuing plight of ISIS. The next president must have the patience, knowledge, and foresight to seize these chances to tackle such a wide breath of international issues. Biden stated:

“The world desperately needs steady American leadership more than ever”.

Of course, the incoming President cannot stand alone. Reliant upon the cooperation of Congress, the next administration will also require a stronger sense of bipartisanship. Claiming that the U.S. was at a domestic “inflection point”, Biden concluded:

“So, my hope is these next four years will be much better positioned with a President who understands and Congress that can vehemently disagree, but ultimately concludes there has to be compromise.”

Indeed, while the conference made obvious the necessity for a presidential candidate that is open and capable of facing such challenges, it also revealed the necessity for an external factor: time.

True, time is an impossible luxury, especially given the bureaucratic nature of the U.S. government. However, the expectation of combating terrorism, especially ISIS, within a four year term is an impossible task for anyone. The continuation of integration efforts through professional “pipelines” may seem an easy task, but the normalization of women as part of that professional culture demands generational assimilation. Even for the continuation of security networking with partner nations requires efforts that supersede what the incoming administration can do.

Thus, if anything, this conference didn’t conclude a “national security inheritance”, it suggested a “national security dynasty.”

To read the transcript of Biden’s remarks, click here

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