Obama, Romney clash on foreign policy; polls show Obama wins

Boca Raton (Florida): America's trust deficit with Pakistan was evident today as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clashed on key foreign policy issues in the final presidential debate here during which the President savaged his Republican rival for his "wrong and reckless leadership".

In the last of the three high-stake 90-minute debates ahead of November 6 elections, President Obama was the aggressor from the start of the encounter which provided both the candidates a last chance to appeal to millions of voters in what appears to be a neck-and-neck race to the White House.

According to a CNN snap poll, Obama won the final presidential debate; and same was the case for other opinion polls including that of CBS news. While 48 per cent voted for Obama and 40 per cent supported Romney in the CNN poll.

On the broader concept of the US foreign policy during the debate, both Obama and Romney agreed that the US should not allow Iran to go nuclear, would support Israel in case of attack, the 2014 withdrawal time line from Afghanistan, and the need to take stronger action against China. However, they exchanged jabs on the size of the US military, and the current situation in the Middle East ? Libya and Syria in particular.

To the surprise of many Benghazi where a terrorist attack on the US Consulate was not mentioned even a once during the debate; which appeared prominently in the previous debate.

India, the relationship with which there is a bipartisan support in the US, did not figure even once during the prime-time foreign policy debate which was moderated by the Bob Schieffer, host of "Face the Nation" on CBS.

For the first time probably the US President went public to explain why he did not seek Pakistan's permission to send his commando to Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden. Had he taken such a call, bin laden would have never been killed, 51-year-old Obama said.

On his part, 65-year-old Romney argued for conditional aid to Pakistan, but was against any move to cut off its relationship with an unstable country that has more than a 100 nuclear weapons which is home to terrorists as well.