President Obama set out a new approach to the war on terror, arguing that since al Qaeda’s core was “on the path to defeat,” the US should narrow its operations to focus only on those “specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.” Renewing his commitment to closing Guantanamo, he announced the removal of a moratorium on sending detainees to Yemen. He issued a new directive on drone strikes, narrowing the circumstances to those targets who cannot be captured and who present “a continuing and imminent threat to the United States,” and he expressed a preference for the military rather than the CIA to conduct the strikes. He said the scale of the terrorist threat now “closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”
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