When President Obama took office in January 2009, our armed forces were engaged in two wars. Al- Qaeda, which had attacked us on 9/11, remained entrenched in its safe havens. Many of our alliances were strained, and our standing in the world had diminished. Around the world and here at home, there were those who questioned whether the United States was headed toward inevitable decline.
Under the leadership of President Obama and the Democratic Party, the tide of war is now receding, and America is looking ahead to a new future. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We have struck major blows against al-Qaeda, bringing Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders to justice, and putting the terrorist organization on the path to defeat. And we have reversed the momentum of the Taliban and established the conditions to draw down our forces in Afghanistan.
These actions have enabled a broader strategic rebalancing of American foreign policy. After more than a decade at war, we can focus on nation-building here at home and concentrate our resources and attention abroad on the areas that are the greatest priority moving forward. This means directing more energy toward crucial problems, including longstanding threats like nuclear proliferation and emerging dangers such as cyber attacks, biological weapons, climate change, and transnational crime. And it means a long-overdue focus on the world's most dynamic regions and rising centers of influence.
As we rebalance our foreign policy, we have rebuilt our relationships around the world. From Europe and Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, we have strengthened the alliances and partnerships that are so central to global security, and we have taken steps to reinvigorate international institutions. All the while, we have built the foundation for sustained American leadership by growing our economy, preserving our unrivaled military strength, and advancing our values.
President Obama and the Democratic Party know that there is no greater responsibility than protecting the American people. We also understand the indispensable role that the United States must continue to play in promoting international peace and prosperity. And because of the steps we have taken, the United States is leading once again, and America is safer, stronger, and more secure than it was four years ago.