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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