WASHINGTON (AP) -- For Republicans, this week's presidential debate highlighted a brewing fight to define the party's foreign policy posture, exposing divisions among candidates about the U.S. role in fostering regime change in the Middle East and tactics to prevent terror attacks at home.
The fault lines reflect a party still in flux long after George W. Bush's unpopular Iraq war damaged Republicans' standing on international issues. While there's little appetite among GOP candidates for the sweeping military intervention and nation-building Bush championed, most are wary of being pegged as isolationists, particularly given Americans' heightened fears of terrorism following attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
"The fundamental debate is, well, if Bush did too much and Obama did too little, what's the right amount of international engagement?" said Richard Fontaine, a former foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, and current president of the Center for New American Security think tank.
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