America and the World: National Security for a New Era

America and the World: National Security for a New Era

AUDIENCE: [Pre-event]
SPEAKER: Good morning. At this time we ask that you please take your
seats. The program is about to begin. AUDIENCE: [applause]
SPEAKER: Good morning, may I have your attention please. Please welcome to the stage a student leader
from the Indiana University Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Affairs,
Ramatou Sumare. AUDIENCE: [applause]
RAMATOU SOUMARE: My name is Ramatou Soumare, I am 19 years old and a rising sophomore here
at Indiana University. I am majoring in international law and global
institutions at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. At Hamilton Lugar, we speak more than 80 languages. That’s not only more than Mayor Pete speaks,
but also more than any school in the country. We also explore cultures, domestic and foreign
policy, and leadership. I have the privilege of being a Hamilton Lugar
school student ambassador, the community outreach chair for IU’s Muslim student association,
a programming chair for the NAACP IU chapter, and the communication chair for a new nonprofit
called Lend a Hand Relief, which provides resources such as education to women and children
in West Africa. As a child of immigrants and someone who has
experienced life AUDIENCE: [applause]
RAMATOU SOUMARE: As a child of immigrants and someone who has experienced life in a
developing country, and even seen the struggles that people face when migrating to a new country,
I have always been interested in immigration and foreign policy. My goal is to become an immigration lawyer
and then work to make policies that impact refugees, migrant workers, immigrants, and
internally displaced peoples, especially with the
AUDIENCE: [applause] RAMATOU SOUMARE: with the current trauma that
the Sudanese are facing, this further encourages me to be an immigration lawyer. Because of my background, the world has always
been of interest to me, whether that was excelling in my Spanish classes and diving into Latin
American cultures, learning about the colonial French roots of my parents’ home country of
Guinea, or just learning about my religion and how the Arabian Peninsula influenced it,
Indiana University has given me the privilege of learning from experienced teachers like
Congressman, and now professor, Lee Hamilton. For 34 years, Congressman Hamilton represented
southern Indiana, and during that time he gained a reputation for levelheaded judgment
on questions of foreign relations, security, and intelligence. He headed national commissions on some of
the toughest issues, including the Iraq Study Group and America’s response to terrorism
after the 9/11 attacks. He now shares his wisdom and knowledge of
world affairs with students as a professor of practice in the school which bears his
name and the name of another renowned Hoosier legislator, the late Senator Richard Lugar. Please join me in welcoming Congressman Lee
Hamilton. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: I think I may have Ramatou introduce me everywhere. She really gets a good response. Thank you very much for coming. I’m delighted to see you and I think you’ll
be here for a very informative hour. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: On your behalf, I express our appreciation to the Indiana University president,
Michael McRobbie and the provost Lauren Robel, Dean Feinstein, for their willingness to open
this superb university venue to leading presidential candidates who request the opportunity to
come here, at their expense, to make a policy speech. Indiana punches above its weight when it comes
to Presidents and Vice Presidents. Presidents Benjamin Harrison and William Henry
Harrison, of course, were Hoosiers. The greatest of them all, Abraham Lincoln
lived in Spencer County, just a few miles from here, during the formative years of his
life. Six Vice Presidents have been Hoosiers, including
the current Vice President, second only to the state of New York, a much larger state,
of course. But the latest Hoosier entry into the presidential
sweepstakes is Mayor Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: We welcome Mayor Pete to Bloomington, and we thank him for coming to be with us
today. He is one of 23 Democrats running for the
Democratic nomination for President. That number may go up by this evening, I’m
not sure. That’s what you call a pent-up desire to defeat
the current President. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: One or two of you are not applauding, and I can’t figure out why. AUDIENCE: [laughter]
LEE HAMILTON: The grand ritual of democracy, the selection of a US president, is now underway. The sorting out of these and other candidates,
of course, in the next few weeks and months will determine the major party candidates,
and a host of other officers, and eventually, of course, the next President. Some of us here believe that the outcome of
these elections will determine the well-being of our country for years to come, and we see
them as important as any elections in our lifetime, which in my case is a long, long
time. We admire and we appreciate Mayor Pete’s energy,
his intelligence, and vision as he makes his run. He has set aside months, if not years, of
his private life to run for President. Since 2012, Pete has been mayor of South Bend,
Indiana. He’s a graduate of Harvard College, a graduate
of Pembroke College, Oxford, a Rhodes scholar, he served in the United States Navy Reserve
as an intelligence officer, AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: And deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. He has worked in Washington for former secretary
of defense, Bill Cohen, a Republican, and former Senator John Kerry, a Democrat. He supports universal health care
AUDIENCE: [applause] LEE HAMILTON: I’ve got quite a list here,
so you’d better not applaud. AUDIENCE: [laughter]
LEE HAMILTON: Reducing income inequality, pro environmental policies, checks on firearm
purchases, and he wants to use immigration as a way to strengthen our country. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: He would end gerrymandering and abolish the Electoral College. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: He believes every woman should be able to make her own reproductive choices. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: I hope you’re as nice to Pete as you are to me. AUDIENCE: [laughter]
LEE HAMILTON: He believes that a person should have the right to marry the person he or she
loves. AUDIENCE: [applause]
LEE HAMILTON: He has become a leading spokesman for the millennial generation and its unique
set of life experiences. He believes representative democracy remains
the best form of government and champions it in an environment and at a time when people
wonder if majority rule still works. He is a candidate worthy of our appreciation
and our respectful attention as he speaks to us now about America and the world, national
security for a new era. I give you Pete. Mayor Pete. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE BUTTIGIEG: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. PETE: Thank you and good morning. I’m delighted to be here. Thank you president McRobbie, Dean Feinstein,
and your colleagues for hosting us at Indiana University, and I am particularly pleased
to be at a school named for two Hoosiers of global consequence, Lee Hamilton and Dick
Lugar. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Together these two giants used their Indiana values to help shape a tradition of
American leadership, combining responsibility and restraint with idealism and vision. Thank you, Congressman, for your introduction. By his mastery of the relationship between
serving a home district and addressing the affairs of the world, Lee Hamilton became
one of this nation’s most widely respected statesmen, and I’m profoundly appreciative
of his encouragement and council over the years. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: When we first conceived of this speech, we had hoped that Senator Lugar would also
be able to join us, and sadly that was not to be. Like so many who knew him, I am grateful for
the time I was privileged to spend in his company. We were from opposite sides of the aisle,
but his leadership, from a principled stand against Apartheid to a farsighted focus on
nuclear security, was the stuff of true statecraft, and what’s not to like in a onetime mayor
from Indiana who cut his teeth as a Rhodes scholar and a Navy intelligence officer? AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Senator Lugar once mused about the impact of time he spent with his grandchildren, saying,
“What’s the world going to look like when they’re my age?” That really does take, he said, a huge imagination. And it’s with that focus on the future and
in that spirit of huge imagination that I’m standing before you. From the beginning, my campaign for President
has been driven by the awareness that we face not just another Presidential election, but
a transition between one era and another. A fact of which the current presidency is
as much a symptom as a cause. I believe that the next three or four years
will determine the next 30 or 40 for our country and our world. And in that context, I’m thankful for this
opportunity to share the worldview that shapes my understanding of foreign policy and national
security. I do not aspire to deliver a full Buttigieg
doctrine today, but I will illustrate how my administration would manage global issues. PETE: I want to lay out how I believe American
interests and American values can be aligned across American relationships with a view
to everyday life in places like my hometown of South Bend. My central purpose is to argue that the world
today needs America more than ever, but only if America can be at her best. As a mayor from the industrial Midwest, as
a product of the 9/11 generation, and as a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict, my own
worldview is shaped, predictably, by my life experience. When I arrived in college in the fall of 2000,
scholars were debating whether the end of the Cold War amounted to the end of history. The United States appeared to be the unchallenged
leader of a global order and the new century was expected by many to be peaceful and democratic. By the time I finished my studies in 2007
America was mired in two wars. PETE: Its respect even among our allies had
plummeted, and no one could be certain that the global future would be any better than
the past. I was a sophomore when the towers fell, and
war came to my generation. I stayed up late debating things like the
march toward the Iraq conflict in a student committee room at Harvard’s Kennedy School;
unaware that in a dorm across the street a few students were in the early stages of coding
a website that would become the engine of the social media revolution. A few years later, I would find myself feeling
like I was answering for America, for all her gifts and all her flaws, as a student
abroad, an American first in Tunisia and then at Oxford, at a time when the world was growing
skeptical about America’s leadership and credibility. By the weekend of my 10th college reunion,
I was at Bagram airfield in Afghanistan- the course of my life altered by American foreign
policy PETE: And through it, I’ve seen at home in
South Bend why foreign policy is not a theoretical discussion for the Americans that I serve. From send off ceremonies for reservists about
to be deployed overseas, to union meetings of American auto workers making German-branded
cars going to Chinese customers from right in our own Saint Joseph County, I have seen
the local impact of global engagements. The need for a new foreign policy vision could
not be more urgent today. Since the election of the current President,
the United States hardly has a foreign policy at all. And lest that seemed like a partisan jab,
I should acknowledge that for the better part of my lifetime, it has been difficult to identify
a consistent foreign policy in the Democratic Party either. While the current administration lacks a coherent
policy, it does show a pattern, a troubling one, when it comes to its conduct abroad. This administration has embraced and emboldened
autocrats while alienating democracies and allies around the globe. It has undermined America’s alliances, partnerships,
and treaties. It has employed tariffs as tantrums, provoked
trade wars while disinvesting in the education, healthcare, and infrastructure fundamental
to our nation’s long-term strength. It has set
AUDIENCE: [applause] PETE: It has set defense spending priorities
according to the wars of the past rather than deterring wars of the future. And it has been hostile to immigration, costing
us people and skills we need while demonizing those who look or pray differently. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The pattern is that decisions are made impulsively, erratically, emotionally, and
politically, often delivered by means of early morning tweet, with little regard for strategy
and no preparation for their long-term consequences. We need a strategy, not just to deal with
individual threats, rivalries and opportunities, but to manage global trends that will define
the balance of this half century in which my generation will live the majority of our
lives. We see workers struggling and inequality growing
amid the uneven impacts of globalization and automation. We see leaders promise again and again to
end the forever wars, only to fall short. We see authoritarianism and crony capitalism
on the rise globally while democratic values are in retreat here at home. We see a season of largely unchallenged American
power transitioning to a period shaped by the competition of newly rising economies,
and all this while our domestic and global institutions become increasingly weakened,
paralyzed, and incapable of meeting the challenges we face. PETE: And at the same time, strange as it
may seem to speak optimistically about America and the world right now, I have great hope
for the possibility that our moment holds. Across less than one human lifetime, more
than a billion people have been lifted out of extreme grinding poverty. A global class of young entrepreneurs is emerging
from Africa to South Asia, while political leaders my age or younger are shaping new
political agendas as they lead nations from Central America to Europe. With the touch of a finger on a screen, dissidents
and democrats across the globe have been connected and empowered and voices once silenced or
shunned, voices of women, religious and ethnic minorities, have been lifted to demand their
rights and rightful place in society. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: So faced with this moment of enormous challenge and great possibility, it is not
enough just to say that we won’t conduct foreign policy by tweet, nor would it be honest to
promise that we can restore an old order that cannot in any case meet the realities of a
new moment. Democrats can no more turn the clock back
to the 1990s than Republicans can return us to the 1950s. And we should not try. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Now, much was already broken when this president arrived, and he immediately set
about smashing whatever remained. AUDIENCE: [laughter]
PETE: Paradoxically, this opens a unique window in which to grapple with the world as it is
in the 21st century with greater urgency, and in some ways greater freedom, than before. I often speak of the need for our politics
and policies to contemplate the year 2054, the year in which I hope to retire after reaching
the current age of the current president. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Thinking about the world three to four decades from now is exactly how we need to
compete with countries like China, because that is how they are planning, thinking, and
investing. Now to think this far out in American policy,
we have to move beyond the news of the day to our deep core principles. To cope with enormous change, American foreign
policy for the future must be securely valued in American values, American interests, and
American relationships. First and foremost, values: the greatest strategic
advantage for America has always been the fact that our country has stood for values
shared by humanity, touching aspirations felt far beyond our borders. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: However imperfectly, we have represented and defended principles of freedom and democracy
that stir human beings wherever they live, and whenever such principles have been vindicated
around the world, American strength has grown. Today we worry about the current administration’s
abandonment of the American commitment to promoting democratic values. But just a few years ago, it was Democrats
who expressed skepticism as a Republican administration undertook a democracy promotion effort, so
violent and so misguided that its fallout very nearly made isolationists of my party. To untangle the consequences of that scrambled
period, we must remember that the lesson of the Iraq disaster is not that there is anything
wrong with standing for American values, but rather that any action in the name of such
values must be strategic, legitimate, and constrained by the premise that we only use
force when left with no alternative. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: This brings me to the concept of the national interest. As any state does, we advance our own distinct
interests, but much depends on the principles we uphold when pursuing them, especially in
the case of America. The next president must set a high bar on
the use of force, and an exceedingly high bar on doing so unilaterally. When America acts alone, it can only be because
core interests are at stake, and because there is no alternative. Notably, this is not currently true of the
situation in Venezuela. It is not currently true of the situation
around Iran. It is the difference between the necessary
response to 9/11 in Afghanistan and the self-defeating invasion of Iraq. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: It is, in short, the difference between Normandy and Saigon. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Which brings us to the third pillar of a foreign policy vision: American relationships. Our relationships; bilateral relationships,
multinational alliances, international institutions; are the space in which our policy plays out. Each must be strengthened if we wish to promote
American values and defend American interests. With this framework in mind, the tasks for
the next president are clear. First, we must put an end to endless war and
refocus on future threats. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Second, we must promote American values by working to reverse the rise of authoritarianism
abroad. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Third, we must treat climate change as the existential security challenge that
it is. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Fourth, we must update the institutions through which we engage the world to address
these 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. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Not only must America do this in order to prosper, but the world also needs America
to do these things. The world needs an America free from entrapment
in endless war and prepared to focus on future threats. After 9/11, Congress passed, and President
George W. Bush signed into law, an authorization for the use of military force to eliminate
the threat posed by al Qaeda and to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan. That law was barely two pages long, yet it
has been used for two decades to wage wars and launch military strikes from the mountains
of the Hindu Kush to the African Sahel. In mobilizing to meet the extremist threat,
we did achieve a measure of military victory, but as the mission drifted, the collateral
damage to our national moral authority was enormous, and we far too often bargained against
our own values. Congress abdicated its responsibility on issues
of war and peace. We spent $4 trillion and lost thousands of
American lives, to say nothing of countless civilians caught in the crossfire. I fear that someday soon we may receive news
of the first US casualty of the 9/11 wars who was born after 9/11. As someone who deployed to that war on the
orders of a president, someone who believed back in 2014 that our involvement in Afghanistan
was coming to an end, and that I was one of the last to turn out the lights, the time
has come for Congress to repeal and replace that blank check on the use of force and ensure
robust debate on future operations. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We should never again send troops into conflict without a clear definition of their
mission and an understanding of what will come after. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We should never again find ourselves in a situation like we did in 2017, when four
US soldiers were killed on a counter terrorism mission in Niger, only to have Senators from
both parties admit that they didn’t even realize that we had a thousand troops stationed in
that country. Correcting this is not only a matter of Presidential
restraint, but of renewed congressional oversight. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The time for a congress asleep at the switch must come to an end. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: If members of our military can find the courage to deploy to a war zone, then
members of our Congress ought to be able to summon the courage to take tough votes on
war and peace. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Now, our military capabilities exist, of course, for a reason. We stand ready to use force under specific,
lawful circumstances, and when there is no peaceful alternative. I believe we should use force when there is
a clear and present threat to the US, when it is necessary to deter and defend against
an attack on or imminent threat against the United States, our citizens at home or abroad,
or our treaty allies, and when we act as part of a legitimate international coalition to
prevent genocide or other atrocities. But when we must use force, we must also have
an end game. Before, during, and after a deployment of
troops, we should also deploy diplomatic, development, and security assistance to guard
against future instability. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: It is not enough to define what we would not do or how we would not get dragged in. After all, war itself represents a kind of
failure and true success lies in preventing conflict. This is why we must anticipate and prevent
threats around the world in a clearheaded and forward-looking way. Among the threats to American and human security,
nuclear destruction remains paramount. This is why preventing the spread of nuclear
weapons should remain a core tenet of our global leadership. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: For this reason, I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to
the Iran nuclear deal. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true art of the deal
as it gets. As even this administration repeatedly certified,
it was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It has helped constrain the military threat
that Iran poses to Israel and Europe without leading us down a path to another Middle Eastern
war. This agreement was concluded not to do Iran
a favor, but because it is in our national security interest, just as a parallel policy
of confronting Iran support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record reflects our
values and security interests. Now, recommitting to diplomacy with Iran will
similarly strengthen our hand in North Korea. For decades, the United States and our allies
have successfully deterred North Korean use of nuclear weapons. At the same time, it is also in the interest
of regional security to advance peace on the Korean Peninsula, so rather than a zero sum
insistence on full and complete denuclearization before any peace is possible, we can recognize
that these two processes can be mutually reinforcing, with small steps leading to bigger ones. You will not see me exchanging love letters
on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: But you will see my administration work to create the conditions that would make it
possible to welcome North Korea into the international community. But until we can change the present dynamic,
until there are good faith and verifiable reversals in North Korea’s nuclear program,
sanctions must remain in place. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Now beyond state-sponsored nuclear proliferation, we also face the continued threat of stateless
terrorism and extremism at home and abroad. The United States can’t fix every fragile
state where extremism might flourish, but with proper legal authorities, we should maintain
limited, focused, and specialized counterterrorism and intelligence missions in places like Afghanistan
to reduce the likelihood that such places will become launching pads for attacks on
the United States or our allies. We must also be proactive and confronting
armed extremist threats at home. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: In my navy counterterrorism training, I learned about the ways in which terrorists’
top priority is to become your top priority. So as a nation, we have to decide, as we go
about our daily lives, what level of risk is acceptable? When it comes to our privacy versus our security,
what trade-offs are we willing to accept? We must be vigilant in protecting our lives
from threats posed by terrorists. We must be no less vigilant in protecting
our liberties from the threat of being undone by our own hand in times of widespread fear. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And achieving such balance will be particularly important when we contemplate the possibility
of a major security event between now and the next election. Knowing that in the past decade more Americans
have been killed in America by right wing extremists than by those inspired by al Qaeda
or Isis, we need to acknowledge this threat too and redirect appropriate resources to
combat right-wing extremism and violent white nationalism. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The world needs an America ready to reverse the rise of authoritarianism while
revitalizing democracy at home and advancing it among our allies. Countries with models that fly in the face
of our values, from Chinese techno-authoritarianism, to Russian oligarchic capitalism, to anti-modern
theocratic regimes in the Middle East, all present a major challenge to us, and it is
no accident that their hostility to shared values comes as they also present a greater
threat to our interests. Ironically, at the very moment when American
prestige and respect is collapsing, it has never been more needed that America live up
to the values we profess. The world needs the best of America right
now. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Now, our approach to each region in the world should be guided by an understanding
of our interests that is true to our values. Take the case of Russia, which we should view
not as a real estate opportunity, but as a self-interested, disruptive, and adversarial
actor. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: As the most unequal economy of any major power, Russia represents a striking example
of what happens when a country attempts to set up capitalism without democracy. And the forces unleashed there; nationalism,
xenophobia, homophobia, and repression of the press; are both highly disturbing in that
country and disturbingly ascendant in our own country. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Meanwhile, Russia throws its weight around abroad, most egregiously, of course,
their unacceptable interference in our elections, which weakened America, both by helping to
elect an unstable administration and by eroding confidence in our democracy itself. We must be ready to deter such behavior in
the future through diplomatic, economic, and even cyber tools and information operations. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: But we must also deal with the real weaknesses that the Russians exploited. Not just the gaps in our technology, but our
capacity to be too easily turned against each other. In this sense, domestic problems from racism
to social isolation have revealed themselves to be national security vulnerabilities. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We’ve also seen regionally destabilizing Russian behavior, from activities on the Crimean
peninsula and in eastern Ukraine to conduct with regard to intermediate-range missiles. Future policy toward Russia must include a
regional security framework that promotes stability for Eastern Europe and incentivizes
Russia to adhere to international norms. And central to this will be our partnerships,
sadly fractured and endangered by this administration, but ready to be renewed and reinvigorated. 70 years after the founding of NATO, we must
repair the strained relationships with our European allies, not because we owe them or
they owe us, but because America is more effective when we work with strong and able partners
and when those partners can trust America’s word. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: In Latin America too, universal values that we support as Americans are at stake. Casual references to throwing US troops at
situations like the crisis in Venezuela will not help, but engagement will. That means adding, not subtracting, to USAID
efforts in Central America AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: so that we can better address the crime, corruption, and poverty that contributes to
mass migration in the first place. And it means working closely with Mexico,
one of our largest trading partners, knowing how much we have to gain when Mexico is more
prosperous and stable. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And yes, it means isolating dictatorship and encouraging democracy, working in concert
with our Latin American neighbors. On the African continent, the winds of change
are sweeping aside old regimes and certitudes. In Algeria, a new generation has risen up
against the sclerotic government. In Sudan, women have led a revolt against
a criminal one, and in Ethiopia we have seen what it looks like when hope triumphs over
hostility. By 2025, nearly one fifth of the world’s population
will live in the nations of a rising Africa, 60% of whose people are now under the age
of 25. That continent now boasts some of the fastest
growing economies in the world, which have lifted millions out of poverty and into the
global marketplace. And as African peoples demand greater accountability
and transparency from their leaders, the United States must stand ready to put our values
into action to promote empowerment alongside economic engagement. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: From the Arctic to South Asia, American interests will be better served when American
behavior aligns with values and norms shared across humanity. And as we mark the 30-year anniversary of
the Tiananmen massacre, the challenge of China presents perhaps the most pressing example
anywhere of the need to stand for American values amid the rise of a potent alternative. The Chinese alternative is the international
expansion of authoritarian capitalism. As we speak, the Chinese government is developing
a repressive digital surveillance state in Xingjiang, up to 1 million Muslim leaders
are being interned in so-called reeducation camps, and China is investing more than a
trillion dollars in its belt and road initiative, expanding its political and economic influence
by building infrastructure throughout the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Americas
as they happily fill the vacuum left by American withdrawal. Of course we can cooperate with the Chinese
on areas of mutual interest from climate disruption, to combating terrorism, to international peacekeeping
operations, but we also must be prepared to defend our values, interests, and relationships. We will not be able to meet this challenge
by sticking to a 20th century strategy, nor will it suffice to reduce the China relationship
to a tit-for-tat trade fight, as if all that matters is the export/import balance on dishwashers. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Meeting the challenge of China means we must maintain investments in the military
that can deter aggression and adventurism. As with Russia, we also need to invest in
strategies to deal with less overt threats; political interference, proxy wars, cyber
attacks, and the potential weaponization of economic and technological interdependence. But beyond that, the new China challenge provides
us with an opportunity to come together across the political divide. At least half the battle is at home, enhancing
our domestic competitiveness and stability. The idea that the American way is superior
will be difficult to authenticate as long as our federal government is liable to shut
down over policy disagreements, as long as Congress can’t deliver even on items of consensus
among the American people. We will not be very convincing if the world
sees China invest more in infrastructure abroad than we are prepared to invest here at home. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We cannot compete for the global economic future if we continue to disinvest in education,
infrastructure, health, and technology. AUDIENCE: [applause],
PETE: If gross inequality and declining social mobility persist in our country, our economic
political system will become less and less respected on the world stage, which is why
perhaps the single best thing we can do to rollback authoritarianism abroad is to model
the strength of inclusive democratic capitalism right here in the United States. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Strength is more than military power. It’s our power of inspiration. At key moments, the world has envied not just
our strength, but our prosperity, not just our prosperity, but our liberty. If we lose that, we lose what makes America
exceptional, and I fear we are losing it quickly. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: It’s hard to condemn crackdowns on a free press when our president calls our own
news media the enemy of the people. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: It is hard to stand up for human rights abroad when we’re turning away asylum seekers
at our own borders. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: It is hard to promote accountability and the rule of law when foreign governments
can curry favor as cheaply as the bill for a few nights stay at the president’s hotels
and golf courses. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Our legitimacy abroad rests on our democracy at home, so let’s improve and revitalize our
democracy with ambitious structural reforms. Let’s get money out of politics, let’s depoliticize
our Supreme Court, and yes, when we’re choosing the leader of our nation, let’s join the ranks
of democratic peoples around the world who select their heads of government by counting
up all the votes and choosing the person who got the most. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Above all, let’s lead with our values right here at home. President Eisenhower was right to say, “Whatever
America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.” We don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: What we need is to manage immigration and our border humanely, securely, and effectively. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And at a time when authoritarians see women’s empowerment as inherently threatening
and LGBTQ equality as a nonstarter, we will leave them behind by embracing the diversity
of our stories as a strength. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And when synagogues and mosques have been viciously attacked, let us aspire to
the example of New Zealand’s 38-year-old Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Let us emulate the way in which she reacted to the horrific slaughter, not with
walls, but with words of welcome and decisive action. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We model these values at home in order to be convincing around the world. We must also ensure that our relationships
around the world reinforce the values that anchor us here at home. That means upholding our values when dealing
not just with our adversaries, but with our allies. The Middle East is one of the most important
examples of a place where we can and must uphold our values while advancing our interests. We will remain open to working with a regime
like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of the American people, but we can no longer
sell out our deepest values for the sake of fossil fuel access and lucrative business
deals. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: If we recognize that the torture and execution of dissidents is wrong, then we
should have the courage to say that it is wrong on both sides of the Gulf. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The closer an ally, the more important it is that we speak truth to them. The security and survival of the democratic
state of Israel has been and continues to be an essential tenet of us foreign policy
and is very much in our national interest, which is why neither American nor Israeli
leaders should play personal politics with the security of Israel and its neighbors. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Just as an American patriot may oppose the policies of the American president, a
supporter of Israel may also oppose the policies of the Israeli right wing government. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Especially when we see increasingly disturbing signs that the Netanyahu government
is turning away from peace. The suffering of the Palestinian people, especially
the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, has many authors, from the extremism of Hamas and the
inefficacy of the Palestinian Authority, to the indifference of the international community,
and yes, the policies of the current Israeli government. And now Gaza has become a breeding ground
for the kind of extremism that only exacerbates threats to Israel and the region. Israeli and Palestinian citizens should be
able to enjoy the freedom to go about their daily lives without fear and to work to achieve
economic well-being for their families. As Israel’s most powerful and most reliable
ally, the United States has the opportunity to shape a more constructive path with the
tough and honest guidance that friendship and fairness require. The current state of affairs cannot endure. The pressure of history and the mathematics
of demography mean that well before 2054, Israelis and Palestinians will have come to
see either peace or catastrophe. A two-state solution that achieves legitimate
Palestinian aspirations and meets Isreal’s security needs remains the only viable way
forward, and it will be our policy to support such a solution actively. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And if Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his threat to annex West Bank settlements,
he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers
won’t help foot the bill. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: At home and abroad, it is not too late for America to restore her leadership position
as a beacon of values that are both universal and at the core of the American project: democracy,
freedom, shared security. The world does need America to model our values,
and the world needs America to prioritize climate security. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: As a mayor 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 today in floods in Indiana, tornadoes in Alabama, hurricanes in Puerto Rico, and
the fires in California. And despite what we hear from this administration
and from far too many Republicans in positions of responsibility, climate disruption is here. It is no longer a distant or theoretical issue,
it is a clear and present threat. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And as traditionally conservative sectors, from the business community led by the insurance
industry to our own military leaders, repeatedly remind us, climate instability is a threat
multiplier. It can accelerate the spread of pandemics,
food insecurity, and mass migration. Research even shows a significant link between
temperature rise and the frequency of conflict. The balance of my lifetime will play out in
an era of climate-driven international instability. In other venues, I’ve had more to say about
how America can rise to this national challenge. It’s an approach that should include a carbon
tax and dividend to reorient our economy around a more sensible reward system. It includes quadrupling American R and D to
at least $25 billion a year. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Leading the way on research into renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon storage. I believe it also means we should empower
rural America to be part of the solution, helping to unlock the potential of soil management
and other 21st century farming techniques. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: And we could offer a new kind of support for cities and towns seeking to reduce their
dependence on carbon. But today I want to emphasize the potential
of climate diplomacy and the kind of world we might build when climate stands alongside
democracy and human rights as a central goal and a source of legitimacy for nations in
global affairs. Rejoining Paris is just the beginning. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: As one of over 400 mayors who committed to upholding the Paris goals, and having seen
how cities are rising to meet this challenge, even as our respective national governments
lag behind, I believe that the US should foster not only international, but sub-national engagement
to meet a challenge whose solutions could be as unifying as its threats are universal. We would do well to host a Pittsburgh summit
of cities to form commitments that will stand alongside the Paris framework among countries. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Building a robust global framework for climate diplomacy is the right thing to do. It also benefits American interests, not only
because we all stand to lose from climate disruption, but also because countries that
share our values tend to be countries with a better track record on climate. It’s hard to believe that it would be a coincidence
that extraction economies and polluting societies are so often those with a tendency toward
authoritarianism. If we promote democracy, we will also be promoting
climate action and vice versa. And by taking seriously the threat of climate
disruption, we might go a long way toward improving a climate of global cooperation. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: So yes, the world needs America to lead on climate. And fourth, the world needs America to update
the institutions through which we engage with the world, ensuring that they reflect the
fact that our world is closer to 2054 than it is to 1945. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: To shape this young century to our advantage, we must renew our national security architecture. Our military certainly, but also our intelligence,
communications, diplomatic and development institutions. It begins with taking a hard look at defense. The US has long sought to maintain total dominance
in conventional war, but in the coming decades, we are more likely than ever to face insurgencies,
asymmetric attacks and high-tech strikes with cyber weapons or drones. Yet our latest defense budget calls for spending
more on three Virginia class submarines, $10.2 billion, than on cyber defenses. It proposes spending more on a single frigate
than on artificial intelligence and machine learning. To adequately prepare for our evolving security
challenges, we need to look not only at how much we’re spending on our military, but what
we’re prioritizing. And chief among those priorities must be the
sacred obligation we have to take care of the men and women who fight our wars. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Half our veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have applied for long-term
disability benefits. We owe our veterans the best healthcare through
a strong and modern VA, which demands a significant investment to expand the quality and quantity
of mental health treatment available. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: But caring for veterans also means helping them and their families return to the normalcy
they seek. And that is not just a government responsibility,
it’s something all of us can do. Human connection is the most underrated and
important component of community reintegration. I am proud that in South Bend, we piloted
an initiative to do more than say “thank you for your service,” to do more than offer just
another website. Where I live, veterans and their families
are not viewed as a problem to be solved, but as talent to be competed for. They are engineers, little league coaches,
elected officials, and I want to enlist our communities to help them give of their extraordinary
abilities. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Beyond taking a smarter approach to our defense and our care for veterans, we
must also rethink our intelligence and communications. We owe our intelligence community a deep debt
of gratitude for the manner in which they stepped up and safeguarded our security in
the years since 9/11. But for too long, they have focused on too
few threats. In a world where data and disinformation dominate,
we should revitalize our intelligence services with an investment in new people and a renewed
commitment to tools like human intelligence and next-generation information operations. The same goes for spreading the right kinds
of information. It’s not enough to combat falsehoods, we must
also disseminate truth. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The nation that helped solidarity rise in Poland to begin the downfall of communism
in Europe has let the tools with which we once spread our message become weak and siloed. It’s time we took an integrated and innovative
approach, bridging public and private sectors. International communications must not be a
neglected subset of our global engagement, it is a key to helping the world understand
who we are and what we stand for. Ultimately our national security and foreign
affairs strategy will only be as robust and sophisticated as the people we recruit to
carry it out. The world is not standing still. To successfully navigate these dynamics and
seize new opportunities will require a new generation of Americans: fluent in different
languages and cultures, comfortable in a digital world, deeply committed to the American project. A foreign policy that serves our people in
their daily lives can best be made by government officials who represent the full diversity
of our people. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: For far too long, our national security establishment has not reflected this diversity,
so we must work to upgrade our hiring practices to promote diversity and excellence, and no
matter where they come from, our finest minds should find it as attractive and compelling
to serve in Foggy Bottom or USAID or Langley as it is to work on Wall Street or in Silicon
Valley. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: We should establish flexible career paths for civilians working in defense, diplomacy,
and intelligence with benefits appropriate for a generation that will change professions
more often than my parents’ generation changed job titles. For those who choose this path, it will not
always be easy. Much of this work happens in the most dangerous
parts of the world, and our foreign service officers and development officials and our
intelligence community must know that Congress and their President have their backs, are
committed to their mission, understand and have prepared for the risks, and will not
abandon them or their mission nor scapegoat them in congressional investigations at the
first sign of trouble and will absolutely not use them as political props or pawns. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: The world needs America to cultivate a diverse and talented generation of personnel
ready to engage globally. And finally, the world needs America to be
in touch with our own communities. A foreign policy for 2054 must be grounded
in the everyday lives of communities across the United States. One thing I’ve learned on the job in South
Bend is that all politics is not just local, but personal, for someone, and global politics
is no exception. Yet the discussion in the media, in the academy
and in official Washington seems to proceed sometimes as if foreign policy were far off
in its impact and meaning. One former official recently acknowledged,
“When the national security seems team sat around the situation room table, we rarely
posed the question, ‘What will this mean for the middle class?'” In my White House, we will, because our purposes
abroad are rooted in our aspirations at home. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Our innovators are empowered to compete in the global marketplace only if our leaders
are relentless in ensuring that intellectual property is protected. Our workers are empowered to secure their
fair share of global economic growth only if workers abroad cannot be stripped of labor
rights and forced to produce at unfair wages that undercut American workers. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Our Muslim friends and neighbors are empowered to work and live and contribute
to our communities only if their government honors their faith. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Decisions made in the White House situation room do reverberate throughout America’s living
rooms, and every decision concerning the South China Sea should be made through the prism
of what it means for a place like South Bend. In a globalized century, no city, no community
is an island. When a manufacturer announces that this trade
war with China could potentially cost the company hundreds of millions this year, that
matters to the folks who work at their facility on the west side of South Bend. Globalization is not going away, so we must
insist on policies that ensure that working families in cities like mine can play a more
appealing role in the story of globalization than the role of victim. And we do that by reaffirming our longstanding
international tradition, by tapping the cultural richness of our immigrant families, and by
harnessing the potential of global markets. We do it by unleashing the full power of the
most global institutions on our local soil, colleges and universities like this one, which
teaches more languages than any other school in America,
AUDIENCE: [applause] PETE: training the next generation of global
leaders. And we do it by ensuring that our local leaders,
our state and local experts, and yes, our mayors, are not bystanders in that dialogue. Whether the issue is climate change or trade
or immigration, local leaders should be at the table from the beginning, empowered to
speak with our national diplomatic, commercial, and military leaders. To thrive in the coming decades, we must bring
the foreign policy conversation out of Washington into the rest of the country and bring the
rest of the country into the Washington foreign policy conversation. When I was deployed, living the famous military
rhythm of hurry up and wait, I spent much more time reading and reflecting than I usually
do at home. I thought about how wars start, how they end,
and how sometimes they don’t. I thought about the Australian soldier sitting
next to me in the Chow Hall at Bagram, even though nobody attacked his country on 9/11,
because that’s what partners and allies do. PETE: I thought about the diplomats and development
workers, painstakingly brokering ceasefires and stabilizing war-torn regions. The trade representative somewhere in Geneva
whose work would determine whether someone’s job at the tool and dye factory in Saint Joe
County goes overseas, or whether a community like ours would be able to attract foreign
investment. And after a long day split between processing
intelligence at my desk in a modified shipping container and driving my commander across
the hauntingly beautiful and violent city of Kabul, I’d carry a laptop up to the roof
at midnight, pick up a wifi signal and Skype into a city staff meeting back home in South
Bend. That tenuous digital link was a reminder that
the counter-narcotics efforts in my threat finance cell ultimately mattered to a community
on the banks of the Saint Joseph River. That there was a relationship between the
city streets I was navigating in an armored SUV in Afghanistan and the ones I was responsible
for paving in South Bend. PETE: The world needs America, but not just
any America. Not an America that has reduced itself to
just one more player scrapping its way through an amoral worldwide scrum for narrow advantage. It has to be America at our best, the America
that possessed the forward-looking vision to do things like confront Nazi-ism and rebuild
Europe, and even invent the Internet inside the research arm of our Defense Department. It has to be an America that knows how to
make better the everyday life of its citizens and of people around the world, knowing how
much one has to do with the other. To do so is to keep our nation safe. It is to master change rather than be made
small and fearful by it. It is to see vindicated the values that make
our nation what it is and it is to deserve to be described in terms like greatness. PETE: None of us will live to see the end
of history. Rather, in our lifetimes, the choices of the
generations now living may well fashion more than our share of history. Much will depend on our fidelity to our own
values, and we will not have to wait until 2054 to feel the judgment of history on this
season, this set of moments, on which the trajectory of the American project and so
much of the future of the modern world will depend. The world needs America to be the best it’s
ever been. And now it falls to us to set the bearing
of our nation. Let us choose well. AUDIENCE: [applause]
PETE: Thank you. It’s an honor to be with you. Thank you very much. AUDIENCE: [applause]

48 thoughts on “America and the World: National Security for a New Era

  1. For those who want to hear more about Pete, start getting involved in the grassroots efforts, and have access to Facebook.
    here is his official Facebook page: 
    An official Facebook grassroots group:  
    And an unofficial supporter Facebook page for Mayor Pete!:

    Things are happening!

    And if you would like to VOLUNTEER here is the official volunteer link:

  2. From candidate Pete to President Pete in the space of an hour. I'm in awe. This is the America I want to be part of again!

  3. Excellent stagecraft. Warren, Sanders, Harris, Beto all to make the Senate a strong partner. Pete POTUS

  4. To Mayor Pete's handlers: only this from now on. This was pitch-perfect in its presidential tone. No more drinking out of paper bags on Showtime, ok?

  5. We MUST encourage all to watch this & to vote for PETE for 2020. It is time for the new generation to take charge!

  6. I live in Pittsburgh, Pete. Let me know what we can do to help you prepare for your Pittsburgh Summit. We would be happy to help! You and some friends can stay here, too. We'd be honored to have you as our guests.

  7. Pete Buttigieg's speech on the United States on the world stage was utterly brilliant. Well-researched and supported by consulting with experts, masterfully written, compellingly delivered, this was a speech that should make everyone sit up and listen—and then go and vote. With the genius that we have come to expect from Buttigieg, he drew many topics together in a comprehensive view of where the country's foreign (and frankly domestic) policies are (or are lacking) and where we need to be—and soon. Anyone who says Buttigieg lacks experience should see and hear in this speech the fully developed analysis, understanding, and mature ideas that we need and that are so fatally lacking in the Drmph Administration.
    I look forward to hearing even more from Buttigieg. Those who say he hasn't shared ideas and a clear platform will find many here, with a view of the brilliant leadership to come.

  8. Pete is and needs to be our next president this man is everything we need and so much more🇺🇸🌈

  9. 1:30:00 "The world needs America – but not just any America. Not an America that has reduced itself to just one more player scrapping its way through an amoral worldwide scrum for a narrow advantage….The world needs America to be the best it's ever been. And now it falls to us to set the bearing of our nation. Let us choose well."


  10. I am in awe of Mayor Pete he is so eloquent and prepared….and I hope for all our sakes
    that he will be the next President of the USA. ❤️🇺🇸

  11. How can he speak so eloquently when I see no evidence of notes or a teleprompter? That's preparation and intelligence.

  12. What an amazing speech! He is brilliant and his intellect is awesome! He inspires confidence and he is exactly what our country needs! He has my vote! Beautiful music while we wait! What a refreshing change to have some class again!

  13. What a brilliant orator. The delivery is spot on. I was thinking of #ButtigiegWarren , but perhaps #ButtigiegHarris would be just as terrific if not better?

  14. This is our next President! If you haven't already done so, please visit and sign on to help his campaign by volunteering in your area. Donations are great, but volunteering helps to get the word out in your community about Pete's measage of hope for our country. Let's stand together for our best America going forward. I'm in, will you join me?
    #peteforpresident #petebuttigieg2020 #bluewave2020

  15. So I didn't go to the comment section so my thoughts wouldn't be spoiled, I watched from the beginning to the end>>>In the words of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler: I didn't want to miss a thing. I don't regret a second of it.

  16. If Peter really paid attention while he was in the military, and did some simple research, he would know that the professed reasons for u.s. intervention has far more to do with making the world safe for plunder, not making it safer or better for quality of life.

  17. I like Pete. He's showing what it's like to be who you are. To not hide how smart you are. To show off your passions and beliefs while being the best version of yourself, and not be afraid of success. I don't know how someone like him exists, because it's so hard to even confront who you really are, let alone be your true self.

  18. Block Chain Pete! Give those soldiers jobs in tech security. Its a great entry into a well paying job and needed for national security.

  19. Pete, there are tests that can measure a predisposition to later debilitating, expensive diseases that are not currently utilized in America. They were developed at great governmental expense when we were in competition with Russia to put the first human in space. We lost, so the development of unique life support modalities for each unique astronaut to optimize their, tenacity, stamina and immune response to survive under the stress of the unknown. I am asking you to implement this assessment in the new healthcare reform, to that we can become aware of earlier leakages from damages cells before they become a full blown diagnosis by our primary care physicians at the yearly check-up. This would provide a quality of life for American citizens and could save the high costs of chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries with hip replacements and open heart surgeries. Could we talk? I am a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, Board Certified, a graduate of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University with a Post Doc at Georgetown University. As President you could initiate these unique disease prevention measures that could save lives. The motto that I have for my patients is: "Let's die young, as late as possible." Dr. Jan Hamilton, Pres. & CEO Nutritional Washington, DC

  20. The best of the best! OMG! President Buttigieg! America, the beautiful! Finally!!!! America has it’s next leader for 8 years! We need stability and sensibility! Real facts, real plans; the real-deal!

  21. I think Pete would be as close to a perfect president as possible in theory but as we know a lot of what he wants to do depends on the support of the U.S. Congress. He would need the backing of both the House and Senate.Also, as much as it pains me to say it, mainstream America is not ready to elect a member of the LGBTQ community as President. They would re-elect Donald Trump first if given the options. Just as I firmly believe they are not ready to vote for a female President. In mainstream America a white, heterosexual male still has the strongest backing.

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