South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said at a Latino forum in Los Angeles on Sunday that he’d be willing to send U.S. troops into Mexico to combat gang and drug violence.
“There is a scenario where we could have security cooperation,” Buttigieg said.
Even so, he added a caveat: “I’d only order American troops into conflict if American lives were on the line and if it was necessary to meet treaty obligations.”
His campaign later clarified that Buttigieg would only be open to military use as a “last resort” in response to Mexican cartel violence or an outside threat that endangers the country’s security.
Buttigieg’s comments came in response to a question at an event hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News, where he added he would work to “make drug trafficking less profitable by walking away from the failed war on drugs here in the United States.”
He was the only candidate asked directly about moving troops to Mexico.
On Saturday, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s call to help Mexico “wage war” on cartels following the massacre of nine U.S. women and children in northern Mexico earlier this month.
“I don’t think the United States should send its military down to Mexico. Mexico is a sovereign nation,” he said.
It appears that Mayor Pete has learned absolutely nothing from his experience in Afghanistan.
Deploying US troops is one of the most important actions a President can take, and this sort of blithe and facile response is profoundly troubling.