Issue Trackers

Issue Trackers provide summaries of presidential candidates' positions on an array of foreign policy issues facing the United States. They are updated regularly to reflect changes in candidates' stances. Candidates who have withdrawn from the race continue to be listed in these Issue Trackers, providing an archive of the debate on each subject.

The Candidates on Afghanistan

The Candidates on Afghanistan

Republican and Democratic candidates generally agree that a major campaign is needed to combat radical Muslim fundamentalism but differ on whether it amounts to a "war on terror."

The Candidates on North Korea Policy

The Candidates on North Korea Policy

North Korea’s October 2006 nuclear test heightened debate over whether the United States should hold bilateral negotiations with Pyongyang or maintain a more assertive line with the isolated country.

The Candidates on the United Nations

The Candidates on the United Nations

A majority of the U.S. presidential candidates for 2008 see a reformed UN as helpful to the promotion of U.S. foreign policy goals but many have expressed deep frustration with the organization.

The Candidates on Iran

The Candidates on Iran

U.S. policy towards Iran is a major campaign issue, given the country’s defiance of UN demands for transparency in its nuclear program. Candidates’ stances run the gamut from considering direct military action to isolating Iran.

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The Candidates on Iraq

The Candidates on Iraq

The war in Iraq has remained a top concern of American voters in the 2008 presidential campaign season. Candidates are divided between supporting the president's strategy to surge more troops into central Iraq versus establishing a timetable to eventually pull out U.S. forces,with some residual units left in the region.

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The Candidates on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Candidates on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The next president will need to find a new strategy for balancing the historic U.S. alliance with Israel against demands from the Arab world and beyond for an equitable deal for the Palestinian people.

The Candidates on Energy Policy

The Candidates on Energy Policy

Alternative energy policy—ranging from boosting ethanol supplies to conservation—has emerged as a crucial issue for candidates in the 2008 presidential campaign.

The Candidates on Defense Policy

The Candidates on Defense Policy

The Iraq and Afghan wars aside, a series of complex defense policy decisions will face the next president—and, by association, those who seek the office.

The Candidates on Immigration

The Candidates on Immigration

The rise of globalization, coupled with terrorism and security concerns have transformed immigration into an issue with foreign policy implications and major resonance for the 2008 presidential campaign.

The Candidates on Trade

The Candidates on Trade

Debate over issues of fair trade, enforcement of labor standards, and trade policy towards developing economies was intensifying as the 2008 presidential campaign unfolded.

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The Candidates on Cuba Policy

The Candidates on Cuba Policy

With longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro fading from the political scene, the next U.S. president will likely need to adjust policy toward the Caribbean island nation.