By Sam Youngman - 10/07/11 03:52 PM EDT
President Obama marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan Friday, saying in a statement that the sacrifices of coalition troops have ensured American "citizens are safer and our nation is more secure."
Obama, rated favorably by Americans for his handling of the war on terror, ticked off accomplishments in the region, noting that after 10 years, his administration is "responsibly ending today's wars from a position of strength."
The president's statement came on the same day that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney eviscerated his foreign policy, saying the president's policies have weakened the country.
While Obama did not directly address Romney's speech in his statement, he did note that America is not and will not be at war with Islam.
"In Afghanistan and beyond, we have shown that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam and that we are a partner with those who seek justice, dignity and opportunity," Obama said.
The president said he and the first lady continue to join Americans in applauding and appreciating the sacrifices of troops killed in Afghanistan over the last 10 years.
"After a difficult decade, we are responsibly ending today’s wars from a position of strength," Obama said. "As the rest of our troops come home from Iraq this year, we have begun to draw down our forces in Afghanistan and transition security to the Afghan people, with whom we will forge an enduring partnership."