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“The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics,” he said, in a clear swipe against the president’s plan to pull 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan this year and 23,000 more by next September.

He also said it is time to revive plans for a full national ballistic missile defense system, which Mr. Obama scrapped in favor of a more modest land- and sea-based system focused on blocking Iran’s ability to fire short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

“I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts,” he added. “Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.”

And he pushed for military assistance to Israel, reaffirming his determination to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He also called for deeper economic ties with Latin America and for the need to designate a point person in the Middle East to get out in front of issues tied to the democratic uprisings in the region which have become known as the “Arab Spring.”

The Democratic National Committee responded by describing Mr. Romney as a career flip-flopper, who changed his position on Afghanistan and laid out generalities that have little significance to the realities of the world today.

“We all know what he says is not always what he does,” said retired Col. and former DNC Chairman Don Fowler, who also took rejected Mr. Romney’s attack on the “clarity and resolve” of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. “I doubt that al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden question President Obama’s resolve,” he said.

Former Rep. Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat who now head the D.C.-based Center for Middle East Peace, stressed that Mr. Obama has advocated for Israel and opposed the recent Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations.

“There was nothing ambivalent about President Obama when he stood up against the entire world at the United Nations,” Mr. Wexler said.