Jun 11, 2019

Buttigieg's foreign policy: Isolate dictators, resist military action

Pete Buttigieg speaks in Iowa. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg would bring the U.S. back into the Iran nuclear deal, rejoin the Paris climate accord and wouldn't currently consider military force in Iran or Venezuela.

The backdrop: Buttigieg, who currently sits around 4th or 5th in most polls, gave his first foreign policy speech today at Indiana University. He said as president he would isolate dictators, prioritize international cooperation — particularly on climate change —  and have a "high bar" for military intervention.

Buttigieg criticized Trump's "erratic" foreign policy, but added: "For the better part of my lifetime, it has been hard to identify a consistent foreign policy of the Democratic party either."

  • He said U.S. foreign policy wasn't oriented toward threats of the future, noting that the current budget allocates as much money for three submarines as all cyber defenses.
  • Buttigieg, an Afghanistan veteran, called on Congress to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has since been used to justify military action all over the world.
  • 1 hot quote: "You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people."

The bottom line: Buttigieg presented American values as central to projecting power around the world and offering an appealing contrast to China.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

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Judge rules against Trump policy limiting public comment on energy leasing

Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday overturned a 2018 Trump administration directive that sought to speed up energy leases on public land by limiting the amount of time the public could comment.

Why it matters: U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush's decision voids almost a million acres of leases in the West, according to The Washington Post. It's a victory for environmentalists, who tried to block the change as part of an effort to protect the habitat of the at-risk greater sage grouse.

  • The ruling invalidated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and affected 104,688 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat, per The Associated Press.
  • Leases in greater sage-grouse habitat will return to allowing 30 days of public comment and administrative protest.

The big picture: From Axios' Amy Harder, this is the latest in a long and convoluted list of regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration is pursuing on environmental rules that courts are, more often than not, rebutting. With Congress gridlocked on these matters, expect the courts to be the default way Trump's agenda faces checks (unless, of course, a Democrat wins the White House this November).

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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