In last night’s presidential debate, it took little time for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to bring up the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Responding to moderator Anderson Cooper’s question about a leaked recording of Trump bragging about groping women, Trump promised that he would “knock the hell out of ISIS.” For the amount of time spent by both candidates talking about defeating terrorists, viewers might think that they pose the greatest threat to the United States.
Terrorism may pose a significant threat to U.S. national interests, but the time, attention, and resources spent on countering it may also be distracting policymakers from other, more serious, sources of instability in the world. To successfully address threats, U.S. policymakers must first understand which potential contingencies they should focus their time and resources on most directly. After election day, the new administration and the 115th Congress will have little time to decide how they will craft policies to address the sources of instability and conflict that could affect the United States.
To assist policymakers in anticipating and planning for international crises that threaten U.S. national interests, we at the Center for Preventive Action are again conducting our ninth Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS). The annual PPS evaluates ongoing and potential violent conflicts and sources of instability based on the impact they would have on U.S. interests as well as their likelihood of occurring in the coming year. See, and evaluate, the results for 2016 for yourself.
What threats and conflicts are you worried will emerge or escalate in 2017? Please tell us your suggestions in this survey. Keep your responses short and to the point, but feel free to explain why the contingency is important. Compelling suggestions will be included in this year’s survey, which will be published in December.
Take our three-minute survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPS2017.