President Barack Obama says after spending the past decade fighting wars, the United States is now stronger and more respected around the world.
“We’re winding down a decade of war, we’re destroying terrorist networks that attacked us and we’ve restored American leadership,” Obama said on Friday at the United States’ Fort Bliss Army post in El Paso, Texas.
Obama is on a trip to mark the second anniversary of the end of US combat mission in Iraq.
“And today every American can be proud that the United States is safer, the United States is stronger and the United States is more respected in the world,” he added.
In response to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s Thursday night speech at the Republican Convention, Obama said, “If you hear anyone trying to say that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, don’t you believe it.”
“Here’s the truth,” he said. “Our alliances have never been stronger.”
Obama, however, warned of a tough fight ahead in Afghanistan, and pledged to end the war in Afghanistan in the same way as he withdrew from Iraq.
Nearly 8,000 foreign troops, including about 6,600 US soldiers, have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001.
The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the United States and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.
According to the website icasualties.org, over 300 foreign troops, mostly US personnel, have lost their lives in Afghanistan so far this year.
A total of 566 US-led forces died in Afghanistan in 2011. However, 2010 remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties, with a death toll of 711.
Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of about 130,000 US-led forces in the country.
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