Obama attempts to redefine 'the war on terror'

There is no doubt that Obama is attempting to redefine the very nature of the conflict. This is no longer the former President George W. Bush's ever expansive, generic war on terror. This now becomes President Obama's very narrow war - an assault on those groups that pose a specific threat.

It is not clear to me that he will be successful - this is a somewhat weakened and distracted president at the start of his second term. The speech has already been attacked by senior Republicans - one saying that with this speech the president has handed victory to the terrorists.

On more concrete issues like closing Guantanamo, don't forget he promised that on day one of his time in office.

He has been criticised by the left and the right, but many moderate voices will also say that hey welcome the fact that America's longest war is no longer necessarily an endless one.

Advertisement

Obama pledges drone use limit

US President Obama has outlined plans to limit the use of US drones, saying they must be targeted against terrorists when a threat was "imminent."