Seth Moulton on the Issues: A Marine Veteran Eyes Foreign Policy

In a speech at the Brookings Institution in February, he laid out his foreign policy platform, which included three areas of concern: arms, alliances and arms control.

He called on the United States to “stop fighting today’s battles on yesterday’s battlefields,” by which he meant re-examining whether it is wise, for instance, to invest 16 times more money in naval carriers than in cyber and technological defenses.

When thinking about arms control, he said it was important to consider not only traditional weapons but also new autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence.

And though he supports strengthening ties with NATO, he said it was necessary to rethink its strategic role and purpose.

“Likewise,” he said, “we should be re-examining our troop commitments to places like Japan and Germany and we should be asking whether it makes sense to establish a Pacific NATO to counter China.”

In an announcement video on Monday, Mr. Moulton pledged to cut “massive weapons programs we don’t need so that we have the money to invest in the future.”

Mr. Moulton cited his experience as a Marine in Iraq when discussing the need for changing the country’s electoral system.

“Amid the tragedies of the Iraq War, one bright spot always stuck with me: seeing Iraqis vote,” he wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post in March.

“To change the country,” he wrote, “we need to fundamentally change how government works: We need to abolish the filibuster and the Electoral College.”

Two weeks after the piece was published, Mr. Moulton revealed a broad plan to overhaul the nation’s elections, including automatically registering people to vote, making Election Day a national holiday, restoring voting rights to former felons and granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

He also floated the idea of “a cyber wall to stop Russia from hacking our elections” in Monday’s announcement video.

Mr. Moulton is one of dozens of lawmakers who signed on as co-sponsors of the Green New Deal in February, but in recent weeks he has expressed skepticism about it and has sought to reframe it as a jobs package.

He told The Atlantic last month that he supports an aggressive response to climate change, but he criticized what he saw as problems with the Green New Deal’s approach.

“I think we want to be careful that we don’t become hypocrites and start ignoring science, just like the right has been doing,” he said.

In an opinion piece for The Des Moines Register in April, Mr. Moulton wrote that he had “signed on to the Green New Deal when it was an open framework” because he saw it as an opportunity “to make it into a new jobs package that also gets climate change under control.”

“While our country marches forward, Washington is anchored to the past,” Mr. Moulton said in the announcement video.

“It starts with growing our economy, with the new jobs, the green jobs, the tech jobs, the advanced manufacturing jobs that are going to make us the world leader in the next century. It starts with tackling climate change and making sure that we have a planet without an expiration date.”

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