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Pete Buttigieg on Homeland Security

 

 


Be serious about security like Israel, but live freely

Buttigieg had praise for Israel, suggesting its way of handling security threats could be a good model for the US. Seeing the way that a country can be very very serious, and effective when it comes to security and on the other hand not allowing concerns about security to dominate your consciousness, I think that's a very important lesson that Americans can look to when we think about how to navigate a world that unfortunately has become smaller and more dangerous for all of us.
Source: Alex Ward of Vox.com on 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 3, 2019

9/11 brought post-Cold War era to new generation of war

Some fashionable scholars had taken to calling the "End of History" after the close of the Cold War. But on a crisp September day in Manhattan, history thundered back into being. It wasn't hard to tell by sundown that everything would be different, that irony and apathy wouldn't dominate our years after all, that our generation would go to war just as our parents' and their parents' did.

History was back, and our generation's project had been abruptly reassigned--that yesterday we had been absorbed in Clinton-era concerns around globalization, the distribution of wealth, and the consequences of technology. Like laws of physics, these forces were animating our affairs all along.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 10-11 , Feb 12, 2019

Knee-jerk PATRIOT Act undercut American freedoms

[After 9/11], we might have lost our innocence and learned something about the world, but we did not suddenly become wise. One friend summed up how it looked to many: "Doesn't Afghanistan know we have bombs?" It took a while to catch on to the idea that this was an attack on the United States not by the country of Afghanistan, but Al-Qaeda, protected by the Taliban, which governed most Afghans but was not exactly an administration. We had been attacked by a transnational network, hosted by a rogue regime presiding over a failed state.

The responses were largely knee-jerk; a PATRIOT Act that undercut the freedoms that define America, and several quick steps down the slippery slope to torture. So slow were we to realize how fundamentally different this was than wars we had studied in school or seen in movies that by October we were bargaining against our own values, moving steadily and surely into the jaws of a trap that Al-Qaeda had laid for us.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 47-8 , Feb 12, 2019

Signed up for military in 2008, during Iraq troop surge

[In 2008] three of my friends decided to reach out to the Obama campaign to see if we could be helpful by taking a few days off [from classes at Harvard] to knock on doors. Our trio spent the days around New Year's 2008 in south-central Iowa, working in towns.

The Iraq troop surge was winding down but not yet over. Afghanistan, mostly out of view, was simmering. Yellow ribbons were everywhere, and more than once I would knock on a door and get into a conversation with a young man who told me he would love to go to the caucus on Thursday and vote, but couldn't because he was packing up for Basic Training. [He signed up].

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 70-1 , Feb 12, 2019

1950s norm was college then military; he followed suit

For my grandfather's generation, military service was a great equalizer--something that Americans (at least, American men) had in common across race, class, and geography.

In 1956, a majority of the graduating classes of Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton joined the military. But in the decades that followed, the once-diverse makeup of our military shifted drastically , especially after Vietnam.

As I reflected on it, I realized that my arrival at Harvard coincided with the near-disappearance of my own childhood interest in serving. At a younger age, when I had hoped to be an astronaut or a pilot, service in uniform was very much on the table. Indeed, on my mother's side, it was a family tradition. [He signed up for the military].

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 71-2 , Feb 12, 2019

Recognize Vietnam Veterans Day, as late honor

At the Vietnam Welcome Home event, I said: "At the end of my tour in Afghanistan, the reception couldn't have been better. At the airport, people lined up to shake our hands, waving flags." A little choked up, I continued to the point. "Many of you did not get that welcome home. And it's a shame. These days, as a society, we have learned how to separate how we feel about a policy and how we treat the men and women sent overseas to serve. That wasn't true for Vietnam veterans. I'm sorry that not everyone thanked you properly. I'm sorry that this is coming late: Thank you. And welcome home."

Recognizing Vietnam Veterans Day has only begun in the last few years, but it quickly became another occasion for me to see how important a symbolic act can be. Some of the vet's eyes water. It's clear to them the honor however late in their lives, is meaningful. One of them tells me he was 18 when he went, "They called me a baby-killer when I got back," he says, staring into the distance.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.258-9 , Feb 12, 2019

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
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V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
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Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
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Page last updated: May 04, 2019