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Obama Seeks End to “War on Terror”
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On Thursday, President Barack Obama stressed the need to change the nature of U.S.’s “war on terror” and to bring an end to its current form. The President said “We have now been at war for well over a decade … But this war, like all wars, must end.”

Obama’s speech at Washington’s National Defense University was in line with his efforts to change the global image of the country – particularly in relation to the Islamic world.

Speaking on the new form of the “war on terror” Obama stressed, “Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ – but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.”

  
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Speaking on the highly controversial Guantanamo Bay prison, Obama said, “There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened.” The President further mentioned in his speech that the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.”

Obama also acknowledged the controversy over drone strikes and said that US would use drone strikes only when a threat was “continuing and imminent.” This stand is in stark contrast to the earlier policy of launching drones against any significant threat.

However, many think that the Obama administration is going to face significant opposition when they try to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act that provides the legal basis for the current and ongoing “war on terror.”

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Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican issued a statement following Obama’s speech saying, “The President is correct to highlight the successes in America’s war on terror that have occurred since September 11, 2001 … He is wrong, however, to understate the continued threat to the U.S. homeland or to suggest that the lethality of the threats posed by a weakened al Qaeda and its affiliates is a return to a pre-9/11 norm that Americans should just accept.”





 

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