Campaign 2016

Will Anyone Make the National Security Case for Donald Trump?

By Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 1:04 PM

Yesterday, Carrie Cordero opened her piece urging voters to reject Donald Trump by noting that "Benjamin Wittes assures me that he is prepared to publish the serious national security case for voting Trump, if someone serious is prepared to write it."

I want to reiterate that invitation.

This site has seen a number of pieces questioning the fitness of the now-presumptive GOP nominee to be president of the United States. In addition to Carrie's piece yesterday, John Bellinger penned a piece way back in December entitled "Donald Trump is a Danger to Our National Security." And I wrote a piece entitled, "Trump as National Security Threat" in early March.

I want to be clear, however, that Lawfare stands prepared to run any submission that meets our editorial standards of truth and reasoned argumentation and that makes a serious case that a Trump candidacy or presidency would be good for national security. Come to think of it, I'll even lower the bar. I'm prepared to run a serious piece merely arguing against Carrie and John and my contention that Trump would be actively dangerous for U.S. national security.

Here's how John put it in December: "Donald Trump not only would be a dangerous president, he is making us less safe as a candidate."

Here's how I put it in March:

Never before in my lifetime has either political party been led by a man with such an unusual combination of—from a national security perspective, anyway—terrifying liabilities. Individually, each would be grounds for concern. In combination with one another and as embodied in a single political figure of extreme charisma and proven attractiveness to a significant swath of the electorate, they are a toxic brew that I have no doubt makes this country less secure. They do this, I suspect, even if Trump is not ultimately elected President but merely becomes the Republican nominee.

Here's how Carrie put it yesterday: "we risk not only the reputation of the party, but far more importantly, the reputation of our nation globally if we vote to nominate a candidate who is so uninformed about the world, so out of touch with national security issues, and so reckless in his rhetoric that he makes the world a less, not more, secure place."

So here's my challenge to the apparently wide world of Trump supporters: Explain why we're wrong. Why should Americans concerned about the security of the country be unconcerned about Trump—much less be excited about him? Feel free to email submissions to me.