State of the Union 2013 LIVE: Foreign Policy Edition


The State of the Union address on Tuesday will give a preview of Obama's foreign policy in his second term.

Foreign policy traditionally takes a backseat in the State of the Union, with President Obama usually devoting less than a third of his time in his State of the Union address to the topic. What he chooses to include (and what he does not) will help illuminate his foreign policy priorities for his new term.

Top national security issues on the horizon include Obama's upcoming trip to Israel, the nuclear issue with Iran, the possibility of U.S. action in Mali, the recent clamor for more disclosure on drone strikes, and the ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attacks. According to the Washington Post, the draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan will be key talking points in his speech.

President Obama's foreign policy has been hotly debated since his re-election, as his administration has struggled to replace his top foreign policy lieutenants.

His rumored choice for secretary of state, Susan Rice, had to withdraw her name for confirmation after controversy emerged over her role in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks. In recent weeks, Congress has grilled Chuck Hagel and John Brennan, Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and CIA director, both of whom have yet to be confirmed.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio will deliver the response to Obama's speech. Rubio was one of the strongest critics of Obama's foreign policy during the confirmation hearings of Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year.