28 May 2013

Obama outlines US defense future

In a recent major policy speech outlining new US counter-terrorism doctrine, President Barack Obama has announced new courts which would adjudicate the use of unmanned drones, increased attempts to speed up the closure of Guantánamo Bay, and a renewed focus on ending the extensive war on terror.

Speaking at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, President Obama’s speech, entitled The Future of our Fight against Terrorism, looks certain to have a major lasting impact on the ongoing war and will likely play an important role in the President’s last few years in office, setting up his legacy as a President for year to come.

He said that in order to preserve American values the war on terror must end, and that ‘a perpetual war … will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.’

As part of his new defence plans, President Obama announced new efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay  detention centre, including lifting a blanket ban on the transfer of prisoners to Yemen and seeking a site in the US for military commissions to take place.

On the subject of the controversial use of unmanned drones, Obama announced that special courts would be asked to decide on targeted assassinations of terrorism suspects in the hopes that increased oversight will help bring transparency and increased understanding to the programme.

He also spoke of the need to look closer to home in future in order to counter acts of terrorism perpetrated by US citizens.

He siad: “In the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight.”

For the full speech, click here


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