With every twist and turn in the prolonged "primary circus" grabbing media attention, critics have accused the 2008 campaign of being long on personality and short on policy debate. Here’s a look at the issues confronting the candidates and where they stand.


Opposed "dumb" Iraq war. Opposed Bush’s troop "surge" strategy.

Initially pledged to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months, but has since wriggled on commitment.

Backs phased withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.
Voted for 2003 Iraq invasion.

Backed Bush’s troop escalation. Has said US troops should stay until Iraq is able to defend itself.

Does not believe in setting a troop withdrawal timetable.