Washington, D.C. – Today, in a speech at National Defense University, President Barack Obama explicitly called for an end to the war against the central Al Qaeda organization that attacked the United States on 9/11. While, as the president acknowledged, the “systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue,” the war against Al Qaeda central should be brought to an end. Rudy deLeon, Senior Vice President of National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
President Obama’s speech today is a necessary step toward a broader-based and more sustainable U.S. counterterrorism strategy that looks beyond the wars of the last 12 years in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. President Obama offered a new and much-needed policy perspective that protects Americans as well as their freedoms and liberties from both the threat of terrorism and prospect of permanent war. To be sure, the defeat of Al Qaeda central must be sealed and the threat of terrorism against the United States and its citizens dealt with. But the United States can now begin to move forward in devising a counterterrorism policy that protects its citizens, upholds our values, and removes the specter of endless conflict.