Thursday’s first presidential debate in Cleveland will offer Republican voters the first look at the 16 candidates vying to be the next commander in chief, but military issues will be fighting for time at the event as much as any of the hopefuls.
So far, major national security and veterans issues haven’t been the focus of the early campaigning. That’s due in large part to the big GOP field, since everyone with the exception of business mogul Donald Trump has struggled to grab headlines on any topic.
But it’s also a reflection of similarities in their defense talking points. None of the candidates have expressed support for President Obama’s policies toward Iran, Russia or Syria. All of them have promised to strengthen the military, but few have offered specifics on what that means.
Here are three things for military and veteran voters to watch for at the event: