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Bush: After straining relations with major European allies and the United Nations over war in Iraq, Bush has shifted his foreign policy focus to the spread of democracy by pushing a Greater Middle East Initiative that would aim to resolve the region’s political, economic and social problems through democratic reform. The president, criticized for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, is also pursuing a policy that seeks to unravel the black market in nuclear components and block programs in North Korea and Iran, countries he has labeled an “axis of evil” along with prewar Iraq.
Kerry: While insisting he would never cede U.S. security to any other nation and would use force when required, Kerry envisions “a new era of alliances” to replace what he sees as the White House’s go-it-alone approach to foreign policy. He has pledged to restore diplomacy as a tool of U.S. foreign policy, treat the United Nations as a “full partner” and pursue collective security arrangements. His inner circle of foreign policy advisers features prominent Democratic veterans, including some figures from the Clinton days.