Background on the candidate’s statements, positions, and record on diplomacy, global development, and U.S. international affairs programs.
An entrepreneur and current Governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum launched his 2024 presidential campaign with a focus on three pillars of “the economy, energy, and national security.”
On national security, his focus has largely been on the military toolkit, stating that “we must rebuild our military and re-establish our nation’s position of strength to win the cold war with China.” He has not put forward significant policy proposals on how he would use diplomatic and development tools to advance U.S. interests.
In describing the global challenges facing America, he has said, “The world is changing. We face both unprecedented threats and tremendous opportunities over the next decade. How we respond will define our future as a country.” The governor has also warned of the threat of global instability, stating, “We talk about national security but it’s really global stability… We’re in a Cold War with China. We’ve got an actual war happening in Eastern Europe. It’s so unstable right now.”
On U.S. global leadership:
- Governor Burgum, in speaking about the “best of America,” referenced his small-town roots when discussing national security in his presidential announcement, “Growing up in a small town, you learn quickly: The enemy isn’t each other. Our enemies aren’t our neighbors down the street. Our enemies are countries that want to see our way of life destroyed… We should all be fighting to unite the country against our common enemies like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and the drug cartels.”
- Discussing the importance America’s role in the world and why leading globally matters locally, Governor Burgum has said, “You wouldn’t think that in North Dakota that national security would be front of mind, but whether it’s Chinese spy balloons, whether it’s the price of soybeans and tariffs, or whether it’s China building spy bases. These three things, the economy, energy policy, and national security, are things that people really care about and they touch every American.”
- Burgum has stated his view that energy independence is key to U.S. global leadership, “When America becomes truly energy independent and supports our allies we prevent wars like Putin started in Ukraine. We stabilize the globe and restore America as the leader of the free world.”
On the global competition with China:
- Burgum views as China as America’s principal threat, saying, “We are in a cold war in China, we just won’t admit it.” He added, “the way you work your way through a Cold War is you win it economically.”
- While directly challenging China, he has also called for a more cautious approach to Taiwan focused on deterrence, “Our objective should be to deter China from attacking Taiwan in the first place by preparing to defend Taiwan and win if necessary. That requires an intense focus on economic statecraft as well as military deterrence.”
On the war in Ukraine:
- Governor Burgum affirmed that U.S. support for Ukraine is important and has condemned Russia for its continued aggression, stating, “The United States and its allies must stand together in support of Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked attacks.
- However, he believes that any U.S. assistance “cannot be done with a ‘blank check’” and that there needs to be “transparency and accountability.” Also, adding that burden sharing from our allies is critical, “our western European allies need to share the cost of the supporting Ukraine.”
- Underscoring that “we have to win the war in Ukraine,” Burgum has tied the current war in Ukraine to China, saying, “Russia cannot have a win coming out of this, because if it’s a win for them, it’s a win for China.”