The Threats Both U.S. Presidential Candidates Ignore

WIB politics November 3, 2016 0

Fortress security in Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo Podcast —far beyond Russia and Islamic State, the next American leader has their plate full by MATTHEW GAULT America’s 2016...
Fortress security in Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo

Podcast —far beyond Russia and Islamic State, the next American leader has their plate full

by MATTHEW GAULT

America’s 2016 election cycle has been crazy. Both candidates faced scandals and spent more time fighting criticism than debating issues.

This was especially true whenever they discussed the U.S. military. There were — and still are — a lot of threats worth talking about.

As a motley coalition of soldiers assaults Mosul, questions linger about what comes next in Iraq and Syria. How will the next president combat Islamic State as the terror group goes underground?

What about Russia? After recent hacks targeting the Democratic National Committee, various intelligence agencies pointed the finger at Moscow.

Vladimir Putin swiftly denied his country was behind the cyber crimes. Still, the Russian leader hasn’t shied away from praising Republican candidate Donald Trump and criticizing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

One the other side of the world, on Oct. 7, 2016, the war in Afghanistan turned 15. Three more years and America’s longest war can buy a pack of cigarettes to calm its rattled nerves.

More than 8,000 U.S. troops remain in a country where a resurgent Taliban is making gains. Neither candidate mentioned the conflict at all during any of the presidential debates.

Closer to home, reporting by Reuters and War Is Boring has shown that the Pentagon doesn’t have a firm grasp on where its money goes. Yet spending restraints seem politically impossible.

Trump talks about spending controls, but tells people America’s military is broken and weak. Clinton’s military budget plans are vague.

War College decided to cut through the rhetoric, drill down on policy and talk through the important issues surrounding the 2016 election. To do that, we sat down with counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance, retired U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich and Washington, D.C. watchdog Mandy Smithberger.

Bacevich, Nance and Smithberger break down what’s important and what isn’t in this election cycle.

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