Democrat Barack Obama wants to prove he's ready to be a wartime commander in chief. Republican John McCain hopes to sell the idea that his rival is not.
The return of Iraq and Afghanistan to the forefront of the presidential campaign illustrates how both sides increasingly seem to view the race as largely a referendum on Obama, a first-term Illinois senator trying to become the first black president.
"I will end this war as president," Obama said of Iraq and promised anew that he would redirect U.S. efforts to Afghanistan. The likely Democratic nominee struck a stately pose Tuesday as he delivered a lengthy foreign policy address ahead of an upcoming overseas trip. He spoke from a podium that said "Judgment to Lead" set up before an array of American flags.