Thursday, November 21, 2019

Buttigieg Called Out For Use of Military in Mexico

I did not watch the debates, but The Washington Post did some fact checking and this caught my eye.

REP. TULSI GABBARD: I think the most recent example of your inexperience in national security and foreign policy came from your recent careless statement about how you as president would be willing to send our troops to Mexico to fight the cartels. …. 
BUTTIGIEG: I know that it’s par for the course in Washington to take remarks out of context, but that is outlandish even by the standards of today’s politics. 
GABBARD: Are you saying that you didn’t say that? 
BUTTIGIEG: I was talking about U.S.-Mexico cooperation. We’ve been doing security cooperation with Mexico for years, with law enforcement cooperation and a military relationship that could continue to be developed with training relationships for example.
He continued on:
“Do you seriously think anybody on this stage is proposing invading Mexico?” he asked to loud applause. “I’m talking about building up alliances.”
I got some pushback from my original post on this subject, with people arguing that this was just "cooperation." I think Buttigieg is reinforcing what I wrote, which is that in the U.S. we have become horribly casual about the deployment of our military in other countries. Sending troops to Mexico is a bad idea and you should not raise it as a possibility, even with cooperation caveats.

As for his applause lines, it is ignorant to claim that U.S. troops in Mexico would build up our alliance. It would be deeply resented and whatever Mexican president who allowed it would see his or her approval plummet. More people, both Mexicans and U.S. troops, would die than if there was no such troop deployment.

A better answer is "I cannot see a scenario where I would send U.S. troops to Mexico."


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