Mayor Pete’s Foreign Policy: One Good Idea and Lots of Bad Ones

Pete Buttigieg delivers remarks on foreign policy and national security in Bloomington, Ind., June 11, 2019. (John Sommers/Reuters)He points out Congress’s bipartisan cowardice in dodging responsibility for wars.

It is now a commonplace of American politics that successful presidential candidates run as doves, then find a hawkish side in office. Ike ran as a peace candidate, then increased involvement in Korea. Nixon promised an end to the war, and expanded the one he inherited into Cambodia. George W. Bush promised a humble foreign policy in his first campaign, and then in his second inaugural preached liberating warfare and setting “a fire in the minds of men.” Obama ran while criticizing “dumb wars,” then stupidly involved the U.S. in a few more.

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And so it’s hard not to feel like a sucker for praising the bleating of presidential candidates on foreign-policy issues. And yet, we have to praise the truth when it is spoken. So here goes: In Pete Buttigieg’s foreign-policy speech this Monday, he hammered home an important point. “If members of our military can find the courage to deploy to a war zone, then members of our Congress ought to be able to summon

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