US President Barack Obama has defended his foreign policy record after criticism from his presidential challenger Mitt Romney.
Obama used a speech at Fort Bliss in Texas – where two years ago he announced that he was ending the US combat mission in Iraq – to hit back at Romney’s assessment of his leadership abroad.
During his acceptance of the Republican party’s nomination for president, the Republican criticised the current administration’s diplomatic approach over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Obama said pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan was appropriate after a decade of war.
“Make no mistake, ending the wars responsibly makes us safer and makes our military even stronger. And ending these wars is letting us do something else, restore American leadership,” he said.
While not mentioning Romney by name, Obama defended himself from his opponent’s sharp critique.
“If you or anyone are trying to say that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, don’t you believe it, cause here’s the truth: Our alliances have never been stronger.”
Obama’s campaign officials hit back at Romney for not mentioning American troops or the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan during his speech in Tampa on Thursday night.