Via Press TV
US President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have held the third and final debate of the US presidential campaign, which focused on international affairs.
On Monday, Obama and Romney met for the 90-minute debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, the biggest swing state.
The debate touched on a broad range of issues, including the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, the threat of al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, and the US-led war in Afghanistan. The two candidates also talked about Iran's nuclear energy program and trade with China.
Romney faulted President Obama's leadership on the Middle East.
"We certainly can't kill our way out of the mess," the former Massachusetts governor said.
Obama responded by saying Romney had changed his position on foreign policy over and over again and warned that he lacked the consistency needed to be a commander-in-chief.
"On a whole range of issues, whether it is in the Middle East, Afghanistan, whether it is in Iraq, whether it is in Iran, you have been all over the map," the president said.
And he challenged Romney's claim that he had run down the armed forces to levels not seen since early in the 20th century.
"You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed," he said to laughter from the audience.
On Syria, Romney said he did not want military intervention in the country. Instead, Washington should play a bigger role in financing and arming the insurgents, he suggested.
Obama also voiced support for the armed groups fighting against the Syrian government.
“…we are going to do everything we can to make sure that we are helping the opposition. But we also have to recognize that for us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step," Obama said.
Both candidates repeated the accusation that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and expressed strong support for Israel, the only player in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons.
"Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I've made that clear throughout my presidency," Obama said.
The 57th US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 6, 2012.