Buttigieg: US 'policy has to be to avoid escalation in the Persian Gulf'

Buttigieg: US 'policy has to be to avoid escalation in the Persian Gulf'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Hillicon Valley: Deepfakes pose 2020 test for media | States beg Congress for more election security funds | Experts worry campaigns falling short on cybersecurity | Trump officials urge reauthorization of NSA surveillance program MORE on Sunday slammed the White House’s handling of increasing tensions in the Middle East, saying the plans seem to be “driven as much by domestic politics as it is by national security imperatives.”

The South Bend, Ind. mayor told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week with George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosTrump allies defend attacks on Cummings amid Democratic denunciations De Blasio: Democratic debates should address 'why did we lose and what do we do differently' Nadler: Resolution condemning Trump's Cummings tweets 'wouldn't be a bad idea' MORE” the news of 1,500 U.S. military personnel being sent to bolster the protection of forces already in the area was “not a good sign.”

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“And when you see what’s been happening, it appears that the administration, driven by the way by John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonTrump to meet with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police A US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account MORE, one of the architects of the Iraq War, is continuing to try to prosecute a case to lead to higher tensions, escalation and perhaps conflict with Iran as though we learned nothing from the last 15 years of armed conflict – conflict in the Middle East,” he said.

Raddatz pushed back, pointing out the move was also based on intelligence and a request from Central Command for increased force protection.

Buttigieg responded the U.S. already has the means to protect its assets in the Middle East and said he thinks “our national security policy has to be to avoid escalation in the Persian Gulf.”

Tensions with Iran have been high since the Trump administration pulled out of the Obama-era nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions on Tehran.

More recently, officials ordered the accelerated deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group to the region along with a B-52 bomber task force.

 

Iranian officials responded last Monday announced they have increased their capacity to produce enriched uranium.