Kerry calls for 'strength and respect' in US policy

John Kerry yesterday promised a new era in foreign policy if elected to the White House in November, in order to make America "stronger and truly respected in the world".

John Kerry yesterday promised a new era in foreign policy if elected to the White House in November, in order to make America "stronger and truly respected in the world".

In the first of a series of foreign policy addresses, the Democratic Presidential challenger set out four principles for US national security: stronger foreign alliances, an updated military, the greater use of "soft" power to keep the country safe, and an end todependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Speaking in Seattle, Mr Kerry broke little new ground on Iraq, tacitly acknowledging that the US cannot "cut and run" from the occupation. But Mr Kerry again accused President George Bush of resorting to force before exhausting diplomacy, of snubbing old allies and of bungling the post-war occupation. "They have gone it alone when they should have assembled a team. They have hoped for the best when they should have prepared for the worst," he said.

Mr Kerry's language was positively benign compared to the assault on the President delivered the previous day by the former vice-president Al Gore, and some Democrats have called on Mr Kerry to sharpen his own attacks on Mr Bush, who is enduring the toughest spell of his presidency. But others believe that little needs be done. "Why waste your own ammunition when the other guy is already shooting himself?" one aide said. According to polls, Mr Kerry is running slightly ahead of Mr Bush - a strong position for a challenger at this stage.

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