Congress and the 2018 national security landscape: A conversation with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - AEI

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Event Summary

On Wednesday, AEI hosted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for a wide-ranging discussion with AEI’s Marc Thiessen on the 2018 national security landscape.

Sen. Graham laid out his vision for how immigration reform will move forward and how those efforts may affect defense spending. He highlighted the importance of addressing the question of legal status for “Dreamers” and undoing the damage sequestration has done to military readiness. He expressed optimism that there would be enough bipartisan agreement on these issues for deals to be made.

The discussion also addressed some of the most pressing national security issues, including how the United States should proceed regarding North Korea and Iran. Sen. Graham expanded on his assessment of possible US military action in North Korea, expressing doubt that a traditional containment strategy would work. On the detention and interrogation process for terror suspects, Sen. Graham said the government needs to change its legal approach so the criminal justice system does not compromise the government’s ability to gather valuable intelligence.

The Q&A session covered whether South Korea and Japan should nuclearize, how the US can shore up its moral leadership role in the world, and whether the ongoing talks between North and South Korea are a positive and productive development.

–Kevin Reagan

Event Description

In 2017, Congress reasserted itself in the formation of foreign and national security policy, passing tough sanctions on Russia and reexamining the president’s authority to launch nuclear strikes. The year 2018 will likely bring further national security challenges for Congress and the Trump administration. Extremist groups continue to foment terror worldwide, and North Korea’s unrelenting ballistic missile and nuclear testing threatens to push the region closer to war.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joins AEI’s Marc Thiessen for a conversation on how Congress and the White House can work together to advance US interests around the globe and ensure the nation’s continued security in the coming year.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.



8:15 AM

8:30 AM

Lindsey Graham, US Senate (R-SC)
Marc A. Thiessen, AEI

9:10 AM

9:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Kevin Reagan at [email protected], 202.828.6035.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

Speaker Biographies

Lindsey Graham was elected to serve the people of South Carolina in the US Senate in 2002. He is a member of the Senate Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, and Judiciary Committees. On the Senate Appropriations Committee, he is the chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee; on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. He was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1995 to 2002. Before his service in the House, Sen. Graham compiled a distinguished record in the US Air Force, as he logged six and a half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984 to 1988, he was assigned overseas at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany. Upon leaving active-duty Air Force in 1989, Sen. Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard, where he served until 1995. He retired from the Air Force Reserves in 2015 at the rank of colonel, having served his country in uniform for 33 years.

Marc A. Thiessen is a fellow at AEI and served as a member of the White House senior staff under former President George W. Bush. He was the chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Before joining the Bush administration, Mr. Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC). He is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post and a Fox News contributor, appearing several times a week on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” and other programs. His book on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program, “Courting Disaster” (Regnery Publishing, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author, with Gov. Scott Walker, of “Unintimidated” (Sentinel, 2013). At AEI, Mr. Thiessen writes about US foreign and defense policy issues and contributes to the AEIdeas blog.

Related Material

Why is Trump treating accused terrorists the way Obama did?
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