Subscribe to receive The 45th in your inbox weekly

Today’s presidential debate saw Joe Biden and Donald Trump go head-to-head for the first time in the campaign. Unsurprisingly, the tension was palpable, but even the extremes from the 2016 debates pale in comparison. Seasoned moderator and Fox News host, Chris Wallace, was unable to reign in the discussion in the swing state of Ohio. The debate wound through some of President Trump's key campaign talking points — covering mail-in ballots, law and order and the economy — but the amount of talking over the top of each other led to an overall incoherence. Rather than seeing whether red or blue wins the day, the debate may test whether respect and decorum can exist in the 2020 campaign. All eyes turn now to next week’s vice-presidential debate.

While the race toward the election heats up, the policy implications have never been higher. Yesterday, Non-Resident Fellow Fiona Cunningham published Managing US-China nuclear risks: A guide for Australia, a research brief examining the increasingly complex nuclear relationship between the United States and China, the risks therein and Australia’s policy options in response. As the brief was covered in The Australian, there are growing risks in both the inadvertent and deliberate use of nuclear weapons in our region, and it is in Australia’s interest to pursue a more proactive strategy to mitigate the possibility of nuclear escalation.