Global Security

Be it resolved, the world is a safer place with a Republican in the White House...

May 26, 2008

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On November 4, 2008, Americans will elect their 44th president. This individual and the policies he or she pursues will have a profound impact on the world and on Canada. The inaugural Munk debate will explore the international stakes and the consequences of the coming U.S. election by bringing together four outstanding minds to debate the resolution: The world is a safer place with a Republican in the White House.

The Results

Pre-Debate

29%

Pro

71%

Con

Post-Debate

46%

Pro

54%

Con

PRO gains 17%. PRO wins

The Debaters

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Pro

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and named by The Financial Times as the most influential commentator in America, Charles Krauthammer has been honored from every part of the political spectrum for his bold and original writing—from the famously liberal People for the American Way (which presented him their First Amendment Award) to the staunchly conservative Bradley Foundation (which awarded him their first $250,000 Bradley Prize).

Since 1985, Krauthammer has written a syndicated column for The Washington Post for which he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. It is published weekly in more than 275 newspapers worldwide.

Krauthammer is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington. He is also a contributor to FOX News, appearing nightly on FOX's evening news program, Special Report with Bret Baier.

For three decades, his influential writings have helped frame the shape of American foreign policy. He coined and developed The Reagan Doctrine (TIME, April 1985), defined the structure of the post-Cold War world in The Unipolar Moment (Foreign Affairs, Winter 1990/1991) and outlined the principles of post-9/11 American foreign policy in his much-debated Irving Kristol Lecture, Democratic Realism (AEI Press, March 2004).

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough calls him "without a doubt, the most powerful force in American conservatism." National Review featured him on its cover as "Obama's critic-in-chief." New York Times columnist David Brooks says that today "he's the most important conservative columnist." Born in New York City and raised in Montreal, Krauthammer was educated at McGill University, Oxford University and Harvard. While serving as a resident and then chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, he published scientific papers, including the discovery of a form of bipolar disease, that continue to be cited in the psychiatric literature.

In 1978, he quit medical practice, came to Washington to help direct planning in psychiatric research in the Carter administration, and began contributing articles to The New Republic. In 1980, he served as a speechwriter to Vice President Walter Mondale. He joined The New Republic as a writer and editor in 1981. His New Republic writings won the 1984 National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism, the highest award in magazine journalism.

From 2001 to 2006, he served on the President's Council on Bioethics. He is president of The Krauthammer Foundation and chairman of Pro Musica Hebraica, an organization dedicated to the recovery and performance of lost classical Jewish music. He is also a member of the Chess Journalists of America.

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Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Pro

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Ferguson is a weekly columnist for Newsweek and a contributing editor for Bloomberg TV. He is the author of numerous bestsellers including The Ascent of Money.  Last year he published Civilization: The West and the Rest, also a Channel 4/PBS documentary series.

Niall Ferguson is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2003 he wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4. The accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, was a bestseller in both Britain and the United States. The sequel, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, was published in 2004, and prompted Time magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Two years later he published The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, a television adaptationof which was screened by PBS in 2007. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the Worldfollowed in 2008 and was also a PBS series, winning the International Emmy award for Best Documentary. His film company Chimerica Media recently released its first feature-length documentary about Henry Kissinger, whose biography he is currently writing. The film won the New York Film Festival’s prize for Best Documentary.

Controversial, expansive, and eloquent, Ferguson has been called “the most talented British historian of his generation”. But the ambitious themes he explores in his work have urgent relevance to the present as well as the past: the costs and benefits of economic globalization; the interface between finance and politics; the lessons to be learned from the British experience of empire; and the strengths and limitation of American global power.

Niall Ferguson is married to the acclaimed author and feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

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Samantha Power

Samantha Power

Samantha Power

Samantha Power

Con

Samantha Power is an award-winning author, professor and human rights activist who Men's Vogue describes as, "a rare Harvard brainiac who can boast both a Pulitzer Prize and a mean jump shot."

Former foreign policy advisor to Democratic presidential runner Barack Obama, Power has a wealth of experience under her belt. The feisty author recently released a political biography of the United Nation's Sergio Vieira de Mello, entitled Chasing the Flame.

Power is The Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Governement.

Power calls herself "genocide chick," because of her area of study and passion. Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general non-fiction, and the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in US foreign policy.  Power's New Yorker article on the horrors in Darfur, Sudan won the 2005 National Magazine Award for best reporting. 

Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (1998-2002). From 1993-1996, she covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia as a reporter for the US News and World ReportThe Boston Globe, and The Economist.  Power is the editor, with Graham Allison, of Realizing Human Rights: Moving from Inspiration to Impact. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, she moved to the United States from Ireland at the age of nine.


Samantha Power

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Richard Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke

Con

The New York Times hails Richard Holbrooke as "a master of impossible missions!" He currently serves as Hilary Clinton's senior policy advisor. Holbrooke is regarded as one of the world's premier negotiators. He's best known as the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the war in Bosnia. He's the recipient of numerous awards including seven Nobel Peace Prize nominations for his work on this historic negotiation.

Holbrooke has written numerous articles and two books including To End a War, based on the historic negotiation. The book was named one of the eleven best books of 1998 by The New York Times.

He boasts a lengthy career in diplomatic service. Holbrooke served as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., where he was also a member of President Clinton's cabinet (1999-2001). In that role he played a central figure on U.S. policy towards the U.N., the Balkans, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and humanitarian crisis such as HIV/AIDS.

He was the Secretary of State for Europe (1994-1996) and the U.S. U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1993-1994) and from 1977-1981 Holbrooke was the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Holbrooke is currently the Vice-Chairman of Perseus, a leading private equity firm and writes a monthly column for the Washington Post.

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