Editor's note: Over the next week, CNN's national security reporters and producers will be looking at some of the most poignant differences between the two candidates on the most pressing foreign policy issues. Watch for the stories all week on CNN.
Washington (CNN) - The protests and violence at American diplomatic missions across the Middle East and North Africa last week steered the 2012 presidential race into somewhat unchartered territory - a debate over U.S. foreign policy.
While the topic certainly has not been absent in the rhetorical sparring between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, most of the campaign's focus thus far has been a battle over who has the best prescription to jolt a seemingly sluggish economic recovery.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – As the chief architect of the Republican budget plan, presidential nominee Mitt Romney's choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, is well-known in budget policy circles around Washington, but his 14 years on Capitol Hill have left a much smaller paper trail when it comes to foreign policy statements and achievements.
That said, Ryan's focus during his seven terms in Congress on balancing the federal budget and extolling the virtues of fiscal restraint seems to have also formed the center of his thinking on foreign policy issues, which seems to hue to the classic Republican view of the world.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - When North Korea launched a rocket earlier this month in a failed attempt to supposedly put a satellite into orbit, U.S. President Barack Obama was quick to condemn the latest provocation and then canceled a deal to resume nutritional assistance.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, offered a blistering statement of his own. But his statement was not entirely directed at the new leader in Pyongyang. It was also directed at the U.S. commander in chief.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Foreign policy still lags far behind the discussion of domestic issues as the Republican candidates continue debating each other. But when it does arise, the final four candidates in the race seem to divide into two camps - intervene big time on one side, stay out of it on the other side.
"We have one candidate, Ron Paul, whose a principled noninterventionist, and then we have three candidates - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum - that are all activist internationalists who want to use American power aggressively overseas to contest the perils they see," James Lindsay with the Council on Foreign Relations told CNN.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – As he prepares to debate his fellow GOP candidates on national security matters, former House speaker Newt Gingrich unveiled a national security advisory team today that features some recognizable names from past administrations.
R. James Woolsey, a former Director of the C.I.A. under President Clinton, and Robert McFarlane, who served as National Security Advisor for President Reagan are part of a team of 13 advisors who will advise Gingrich on a variety of national security topics as the campaign goes forward.FULL STORY
(CNN) - There is one area where all eight Republican candidates seem to be in complete agreement: In their minds, Barack Obama's presidency has been a failure, and his national security policies have only served to weaken America's standing in the world, and left the United States more vulnerable to attack.
That consensus aside, there are positions each candidate has taken in the areas of foreign policy and national security that set them apart from the field. As CNN prepares to host a debate Tuesday night on national security topics with the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, here is a look at some distinctive positions and experiences the candidates are raising on the trail.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - With Congress aiming for trillions of dollars in budget cuts, former secretaries of state from Republican and Democratic administrations are asking lawmakers to leave international aid, a prime target for slicing, intact.
"We recognize the gravity of America's fiscal situation and that all programs must contribute their fair share to reducing our nation's debt," five former secretaries wrote in a letter to Congress. "Yet, the International Affairs Budget - only 1.4% of the federal budget - already received deep and disproportionate cuts this year."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - If there's an area GOP presidential candidates seemed to agree on Saturday night, it's that President Barack Obama is not doing enough to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Obama's Iran policy was his "greatest failing," and did not rule out military action against Iran in a potential Romney administration.FULL STORY
(CNN) - GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry came out swinging Wednesday with statements critical of President Obama's handling of the U.S. relationship with Israel, and his administration's policy toward Iran. The statements come a day after reports of an open mic picking up comments by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his statement, Romney says Obama is "disdainful of our special relationship with Israel."
In the aftermath of a U.N. report that documented Iran's progress toward making a nuclear weapon, Perry said Obama's policy on Iran "based on outreach and limited sanctions, has failed."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The foreign policy discussion with the GOP presidential candidates is beginning to gain prominence as the candidates lay out their vision for U.S. engagement with the world, and with debates devoted to the topic on the schedule in the next few weeks.
Based on what they're saying so far, some of the candidates may need to do a little more studying on the big issues from overseas. Take Herman Cain, for example. He's a frontrunner in the polls, but has been showing inconsistencies in his understanding of one of the biggest foreign policy challenges facing the United States: China.