Obama's insistence that US policy in the Middle East support, rather than thwart, popular yearnings for self-rule is a warning to autocrats in the region – and marks an 'update' since his Cairo speech.
North Korea is seen as an unpredictable 'spoiled child.' Iran is seen as a rational but aggressive nation. Each have nuclear programs, but pose unique problems for US security.
The goal is continuity in international relationships with a clear break from Bush’s approach.
But America may need to understand how the world has changed during the war and what different kind of leadership is now required.
Presidential candidates cite intent to improve US stature, but retooling policies is complicated.