Obama To Restrict Drone Strikes, Refocus U.S. War on Terrorism

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President Obama opens a new phase in the long U.S. struggle with terrorism today by restricting use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the CIA to the military, says the New York Times. In the first major counterterrorism speech of his second term, Obama hopes to refocus the conflict that has defined U.S. priorities since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and foresees an day when the so-called war on terror might all but end. The administration acknowledged that it had killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Speaking at the National Defense University, Obama will renew his long-stalled effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The Times says Obama “appears intent on countering criticism of his most controversial policies by reorienting them to meet changing conditions.” He is expected to reject the notion of a perpetual war with terrorists, envisioning a day when Al Qaeda has been so incapacitated that wartime authority will end.

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