Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan charged that unsteady U.S. leadership is partly to blame for the crisis across the Middle East and North Africa.
At the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Ryan said equivocation and mixed signals make the extremists bolder.
"Look across that region today, and what do you see?" Ryan said. "The slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria, mobs storming American embassies and consulates, Iran four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon, Israel - our best ally in the region - treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration."
Ryan went on to say that moral clarity and competent use of U.S. influence will overcome evil and violence in the region.