By BRIAN A. HOWEY

HILL CITY, S.D. - Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg laid out one of the most comprehensive foreign policy doctrines in a campaign setting in memory, saying the world needs "America to be the best it's ever been." The South Bend mayor told the capacity crowd at the Indiana University Auditorium, "Now it up to us to set the bearings of the nation."

Speaking to the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University on Tuesday, Buttigieg presented a five-point strategy, contrasting with President Trump, who he said, lacks a "coherent" foreign policy in a "pattern," carried out "impulsively, erratically emotionally" and documented by "early morning tweets."

"The tasks before the next president are clear," Buttigieg said. "First, we must put an end to endless war and refocus on future threats. Second, we must promote American values by working to reverse the rise of authoritarianism abroad. Third, we must treat climate change as the existential security challenge it is. Fourth, we must update the institutions through which we engage the world to address 21st-century challenges and opportunities. And fifth, we must do all this while involving citizens across America in a meaningful conversation about how foreign policy and national security concern their communities, and do more to include their voices and values in formulating our policies.
 
"Not only must America do this in order to prosper, but the world also needs America to do these things," Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg framed comments on climate change in a South Bend context. "The world needs America to prioritize climate security," Buttigieg said. "As someone who has had to activate my city’s emergency operations center for floods that were supposed to come less than once in a lifetime - and done so twice in two years - I have seen the homeland implications of this threat. We’ve seen warnings from a generation ago realized in the floods in Indiana, the tornadoes in Alabama, the hurricane in Puerto Rico, and the fires in California."

The mayor added, "Despite what we hear from this administration and far too many Republicans in power, climate disruption is here," saying, "It is no longer a distant or theoretical issue, it is a clear and present threat. And as our military leaders repeatedly tell us, climate instability is a threat multiplier. It can accelerate the spread of pandemics, conflict, and mass migration."

Buttigieg vowed to rejoin the Paris accords, called for a "Pittsburgh" climate summit as well as a $25 billion annual investment to "research into renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon storage. "It involves empowering rural America to be part of the solution, helping to unlock the potential of soil management and other 21st century farming techniques, and a new kind of support for cities and towns seeking to reduce their dependence on carbon."

The mayor, who served with the Naval Reserves in Afghanistan as an intelligence analysist, called for an halt to what he described as "endless war." Buttigieg explained, "The world needs an America free from entrapment in endless war and prepared to focus on future threats." He said the legislative "blank check" created to respond to post 9/11 threats needs to be replaced with congressional oversight.

"The time has come for Congress to repeal and replace that blank check on the use of force and ensure a robust debate on any future operations," Buttigieg said. "We should never again send troops into conflict without a clear definition of their mission and an understanding of what comes after. Correcting this is not only a matter of presidential restraint but of renewed Congressional oversight. The time for a Congress asleep at the switch must come to an end. 

"If members of our military can find the courage to deploy to a war zone, our Members of Congress ought to be able to summon the courage to take tough votes on war and peace," the mayor said.

Buttigieg was introduced by former congressman Lee Hamilton, who said after prolonged applause for the speaker, "That’s what you call a pent up desire to defeat the incumbent president. One or two of you were not applauding and I can’t figure out why." Hamilton framed the 2020 election as "the most important in our lifetime."

Buttigieg paid tribute to Sen. Lugar, who died earlier this spring, citing his "leadership from a principled stand against apartheid to a far-sighted approach to nuclear security was the stuff of true statescraft." Buttigieg added, "What's not to like from a one-time mayor from Indiana who cut his teeth as a Rhodes Scholar and a Navy intelligence officer?"