Bill Weld on War & Peace

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice Pres.; former GOP MA Governor; 2020 GOP Presidential Challenger


Unlimited military aid to Ukraine against Russian incursion

Q: What steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?

A: Ukraine, while not a NATO member, is an EU partner and a treaty-recognized buffer zone between Russia and NATO. Ukraine has a sizeable population and economic zone whose seizure would be a major first step toward reconstituting the old Soviet Union's borders and corresponding influence--for Putin, it is therefore a major opportunity if it could be seized intact. Conversely, Ukraine has shown itself willing to fight and take losses in blood and treasure. Allowing Ukraine to fall would effectively "Finlandize" Europe, to the extent it has not already been. Accordingly, I would provide military aid to Ukraine--as much as was necessary. I would make it clear that if the Ukrainians wanted to defend their territory, we would help, and further incursions would be costly. I would continue to hold exercises in Eastern Europe and look at ways to defend the Baltics.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2019

Supports Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution

Q: Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how would you achieve it?

A: The question suggests outsiders can "solve" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I think it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to come to an arrangement, and for us to support their efforts. If there is a deal to be made that's acceptable to both, we should get behind it, but the timing for further negotiations is going to have to be driven by events and by the parties themselves. Having said all that, I am personally very much in favor of a two-state solution, and I believe, as my friend Shimon Peres always maintained, that multi-state economic development projects and trade are the sinews of peace.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2019

Withdrawing from Iran nuke deal was a colossal blunder

Q: Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear deal by 7 countries and the EU]? What changes would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?

A: I thought that Mr. Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 JCPOA was a colossal blunder. We had a ten-year period during which Iran would not advance its nuclear weapons program, and they were in compliance. I would rejoin the JCPOA without changes to the written agreement.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2019

Partial sanction relief for partial Korean denuclearization

Q: Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?

A: "Partial" and "some" imply matters of degree, but yes, I think a partial dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is a development worth promoting, and of course such an agreement might prove to be the first step to a fuller resolution.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2019

Supported the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal

Source: Business Insider background for 2019 GOP presidential debate , Sep 24, 2019

Troops out of Afghanistan; should have done it long ago

Q: A drone attack recently crippled Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities. President Trump has responded by deploying US troops to the kingdom. Your plan?

Rep. Joe Walsh: I would be honest with the Saudis. Iran's the biggest threat in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is no great guy either. With these troops, I worry about us getting further involved in a region that we shouldn't get involved in. Our men and women ought to be home from Afghanistan by now. We support Israel and we've got to do whatever we can to encourage that part of the world to move toward a democracy. But I don't like us placing resources in there, especially placing American troops.

Gov. Weld: I agree with the congressman our troops should have been home from Afghanistan a long time ago. but we've been there 18 years. People say oh we can't bring them home now to which they respond. It begs the question "when?" How about "never?" Is never what you're for? Because that's what they really mean.

Source: Business Insider 2019 GOP presidential primary debate , Sep 24, 2019

Supports non-nuclear proliferation efforts

On the 2016 campaign trail, Weld called nuclear proliferation "the number one threat to the security of the world." Weld is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and, has called for the U.S. to form closer ties with Mexico and Canada in order to address security and economic challenges.
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Don't use military for regime change

In fairness to young adults in the military, they should not be asked to risk their lives in order to engineer regime changes in foreign countries at the whim of the US government, in the absence of any substantial threat to the United States.
Source: Speech in New Hampshire by 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Supports libertarian "restraint" on military action

Weld has always been fiscally conservative and socially liberal, he says: "I've self-identified as a small-l libertarian since I was in law school." On military matters, he was once a typical GOP hawk, but events in Iraq, Libya, and Syria have made him reconsider and he now supports Johnson's more "restrained" posture.
Source: Molly Ball in The Atlantic: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 3, 2016

Presumption of non-intervention on foreign soil

In terms of relations with other countries, Gary and I are inclined towards a presumption of non-intervention restraint where U. S. boots on the ground or blood on foreign soil is concerned. I think we've all seen in recent years that actions to induce regime change can have unseen costs and they're moral as well as economic, and rippling and unintended consequences, both the Middle East and North Africa are examples. At the same time, we believe strongly that an invincible defense is a bedrock responsibility of the U. S. government which requires that America maintain and demonstrate the most powerful military in the world including air supremacy and naval supremacy. Notably, we are the only candidates on the ballot this year who believe in free international trade in goods and services, again, guided by the rule of law.
Source: Johnson-Weld interview at National Press Club , Jul 7, 2016

Don't intervene abroad when people are mean to each other

I was a little surprised this week to see 51 State Department diplomats say we want to bomb to force regime change in Syria. "Regime change?" I say to myself, "that sounds familiar." It takes a lot of boots on the ground to effectuate regime change, if you want to make sure it sticks. [So we are] a pair of skeptics when people say we should intervene on the ground because these people are being mean to each other and we can't stand that. That's not going to sell as a matter of first impressions.
Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Other candidates on War & Peace: Bill Weld on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 25, 2020