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May 26, 2008

Global Security

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

Pro
Charles Krauthammer
Niall Ferguson
Con
Samantha Power
Richard Holbrooke
Result
PRO gains 17%. PRO wins
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Be it resolved, the world is a safer place with a Republican in the White House...

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.

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Vote Results

Pro
Con

Pre-debate

29%

71%

Post-debate

46%

54%

PRO gains 17%. PRO wins

The Debaters

Charles Krauthammer

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Charles Krauthammer

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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.

Niall Ferguson

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Niall Ferguson

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Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. His most recent book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in 2018, and was a New York Times bestseller.

Richard Holbrooke

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Richard Holbrooke

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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.

Samantha Power

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Samantha Power

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Ambassador Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.

From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea, and supported President Obama’s pathbreaking actions to end the Ebola crisis. President Obama has called her “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” saying that “she showed us that the international community has a moral responsibility and a profound interest in resolving conflicts and defending human dignity.”

From 2009 to 2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.

Forbes called her “a powerful crusader for U.S foreign policy as well as human rights and democracy” when it named her one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” She has been named as one of Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” and has twice been selected as one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Her book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. Her most recent book, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (2019), was a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller.

Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Before joining the U.S. government, Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School, a columnist for TIME, and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books.