The Next Stage of the War on Terror


Stevie LaFerriere, writer


On May 23rd, President Barack Obama will announce an imminent restriction on the use of unmanned drone strikes and a renewal to his postponed effort to close the prison at Guantanomo Bay, with plans to return some detainees to their home countries and to lift the ban on sending them home to Yemen. Members of the administration claim that this shift could lead to a much sooner, though still unspecified, end to the war that has cost America nearly one and a half trillion dollars, according to COSTOFWAR.COM, and thousands of lives since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Also present in the administration’s speech is the first formal acknowledgement that the United States government has killed four American citizens in drone strikes surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the new policy, determined by Attorney General Eric Holder, such incidents are hoped to be avoided by limiting lethal force to targets who pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans” and would be near impossible to capture.

Even as these motions diminish our involvement in the war, President Obama also plans to defend a continued role for targeted killings in the region, a topic he has typically excluded from conventional speeches though discussed in interviews and less formal interactions with the press. A White House official indicated that Obama “will discuss why the use of drone strikes is necessary, legal, and just, while addressing the various issues raised by our use of targeted action.”

The speech will be a series of firsts for the Obama administration, and should hopefully indicate a brighter future for our military’s involvement in the Middle East.


For more information on the impending speech and analysis from the New York Times, read here: