Democrat John Kerry (search) said Monday night that President Bush must turn "words into action" and reach out to skeptical allies for help in Iraq, where violence continues five weeks before the handover of political power.

Shortly after Bush laid out his plan for Iraq in a speech at the U.S. Army War College (search) in Pennsylvania, the Democratic presidential candidate issued a brief statement calling for "presidential leadership to the nation and to the world."

Bush said the United States would stay in Iraq until it was free and democratic and suggested that more U.S. soldiers might have to be sent to stop enemy forces bent on destroying the new government.

In response, Kerry said: "That's going to require the president to genuinely reach out to our allies so the United States doesn't have to continue to go it alone and to create the stability necessary to allow the people of Iraq to move forward. That's what our troops deserve, and that's what our country and the world need at this moment."

Kerry has said on the campaign trail that Bush has damaged relations with allies to the point that only a new president can repair them.