John Kerry: 'America must now rebuild its shredded alliances'

From the weekly radio address of the leading Democratic contender for US President
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The Independent Online

In America, we're blessed. This Memorial Day, when you stop and think about what it takes for our men and women in uniform to risk their lives, say goodbye to their families, and go to front lines half a world away - it is a profound gesture of honour.

It symbolises the spirit of America - that there are citizen soldiers ready to do what it takes to live and lead by our values. I met so many of them when I fought in Vietnam and I have met them since from Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraqi Freedom. The love of country and sense of duty I have seen and known is special. You carry it with you always. And it's because of those who fought before and those who fight today that it's time do what it takes to build an America that's once again respected in the world.

It's time to ensure that our men and women in uniform are the best-equipped fighting force in the world. And some of the best armour we could ever give our troops will be allies to fight by their side. America has always drawn its power not only from the might of its weapons, but from the trust and respect of nations around the globe. From the world wars to the Cold War and beyond, American-led alliances have been a driving force in the survival of freedom.

Today, the new threat of terrorism demands these alliances on a global scale - to share intelligence, to get the terrorists before they get us, and to stop the world's deadliest weapons from falling into the world's most dangerous hands.

We must rebuild alliances that have been shredded - because an America respected in the world will be an America stronger in the world - and safer here at home.

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