Foreign-policy credentials: Cain has no past experience in foreign policy. Trained as a mathematician, he began his career as a civilian ballistics analyst for the U.S. Navy.
Overview: Foreign policy has been seen as Cain's Achilles' heel as the former businessman and motivational speaker has emerged as a front-runner in the race. Cain has struggled with gaffes -- expressing indifference to insignificant countries such as "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan" and seeming unaware that China already possesses nuclear weapons -- and he has struggled to articulate a coherent policy on Afghanistan, the war on terror, or Libya.
Cain has brushed aside concerns about his lack of foreign-policy knowledge by pointing out that when he took over the Godfather's Pizza chain, "I had never made a pizza, but I learned."
Advisors: Cain's senior foreign-policy advisor is J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman and Navy commander. Mark Pfeifle, a former deputy assistant for strategic communications in George W. Bush's National Security Council, and Roger Pardo-Maurer, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for the Western Hemisphere, are also advising the campaign.
On the issues:
Afghanistan/Pakistan: Cain has essentially refused to state a position on Afghanistan. In an early debate, he raised conservative eyebrows by saying, "It's not clear what the mission is." He later clarified that "there are dozens of experts and military leaders I would need advice from before I could make an informed decision."
In the Nov. 12 South Carolina debate, he again said he would not make a decision about strategy in Afghanistan without "consulting with the commanders on the ground, our intelligence sources, after having discussions with Pakistan."
Although Cain has promised to starkly define America's friends and enemies in his foreign policy, he says, "It is unclear where we stand with Pakistan."
Military spending: Cain has suggested that defense cuts may be "on the table" in his administration, but that he would have to "take a look at all of the different programs, evaluate those programs along with the military experts" before coming to a decision about specific cuts.
Immigration/borders: Hispanic politicians criticized Cain for lack of sensitivity for suggesting a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border made of "barbed wire -- electrified -- with a sign on the other side that says it can kill you" as a solution to the country's illegal-immigration problem. (He later claimed the remark was a joke.) Cain has also said, "We don't need a new path to citizenship. Use the one that we already have." He believes that the recent immigration-reform proposals pushed by Democrats could be a gateway to amnesty.