Cheat Sheet: Tonight's Foreign Policy Debate

VIDEO: Polls show the race for the White House is extremely tight before the foreign policy debate.

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in the third presidential debate, face off exclusively on foreign policy tonight at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

The debate will be the candidates' last opportunity to address each other directly on a slew of foreign policy questions. For Obama, the debate is an opportunity to defend his policy in the Middle East. And for Romney, it is an opportunity to convince voters that he has the foreign policy chops to be commander in chief.

Tune in to ABC tonight at 8 p.m. ET for anchored coverage of the final presidential debate, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

Here's what you need to know about the big foreign policy questions of the day:

Libya: the Benghazi Attack

Perhaps more than any other foreign policy issue, the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens has dominated headlines and has penetrated the consciousness of American voters, who are otherwise preoccupied with their own economic security.

Most recent reports indicate that an amateur anti-Islamic video was not what provoked the attacks, as the administration said originally. But recent reports also indicate that intelligence officials do not believe the attack was pre-planned.

The issue may also be Romney's clearest opportunity to challenge Obama's foreign policy record.

Romney has suggested that the Obama administration, for political reasons, misled the country about what triggered the attacks in Libya. Republicans have also roundly criticized Obama for saying to comedian Jon Stewart that Stevens' death and the deaths of other Americans at the embassy were not "optimal.

Iran: Nuclear Weapons

Obama and Romney largely agree that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration said that it has imposed strenuous sanctions on Iran, including strictly enforcing sanctions that have been in place for decades.

But Romney said in a recent foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute that Obama's foreign policy had "emboldened" Iran.

Meanwhile, a report in The New York Times over the weekend suggested that Iran had agreed to one-on-one talks with the U.S. about its nuclear plans.

Iranian officials have denied that they have agreed to any talks. Romney is likely to be questioned about his position on one-on-one talks with Iran. When asked about whether he would be open to one-on-one talks with Iran over the weekend, Romney declined to answer.


Both Obama and Romney will emphasize the importance of the U.S.'s relationship with Israel, and the U.S. commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Romney has staunchly criticized Obama for allowing his relationship with Israeli President Bibi Netanyahu to deteriorate over the course of his presidency.

Romney and Netanyahu are old friends, a friendship dating back to their days at Boston Consulting Group, when they were both business consultants.

Obama's relationship with Netanyahu has been rocked by several public strains in the past four years, including disagreements about Israel's expansion of settlements in the West Bank. Most recently, Obama was criticized by Republicans for not meeting with Netanyahu when both leaders attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, however the two did speak by phone. And in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Obama reiterated his commitment to a "secure Jewish state of Israel and an independent prosperous Palestine." Note: This article initially incorrectly referred to settlements in the Gaza Strip.The settlements are actually in the West Bank.

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