Wednesday, May 22, 2013

President Obama pivots towards ending the indefinite war

For someone like me who has been writing for quite a while now about ending the indefinite war, tomorrow is a HUGE day. President Obama will give a speech that begins the process of delivering on the promise he made almost exactly a year ago.
My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda...

This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.
I've been so excited about this speech that I'm jumping on some of the news that is coming out about what he'll have to say.
In his first major speech on counterterrorism of his second term, Mr. Obama hopes to refocus the epic conflict that has defined American priorities since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and even foresees an unspecified day when the so-called war on terror might all but end, according to people briefed on White House plans...

A new classified policy guidance signed by Mr. Obama will sharply curtail the instances when unmanned aircraft can be used to attack in places that are not overt war zones, countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The rules will impose the same standard for strikes on foreign enemies now used only for American citizens deemed to be terrorists...

In effect, this appears to be a step away from the relatively unrestricted use of force allowed in war zones and toward the more limited use of force for self-defense allowed outside of armed conflict...

In his speech, Mr. Obama 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.
As VP Joe Biden once said..."that is a big fucking deal!"

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