Published: Sat, December 10, 2016
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Obama Warns Trump Against Reversing Terrorism Gains

Obama Warns Trump Against Reversing Terrorism Gains

US President Barack Obama has warned that the country would not be able to wipe out terrorism with military might as he offered a sweeping defense of his administration's national security record.

President Obama delivered a powerful critique against the use of torture and continued detentions at Guantanamo, making clear these practices are not only ineffective but damaging to the United States national security.

"I've now gotten to know President Obama". "That's what separates us from tyrants and terrorists". "And the fact is, people and nations do not make good decisions when they are driven by fear".

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve of your Commander in Chief, I thank you for all that you've done", he said. He's also said he would resume placing suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

White House officials said Obama's speech Tuesday was planned ahead of Trump's win in November's election and was not meant as a message for Trump. But Trump doesn't have to choose between the separate paths blazed by the two Presidents who came before. "We prohibited torture everywhere at all times and that includes tactics like waterboarding", he said.

Obama said his administration's approach of providing support to local partners and not undertaking massive ground invasions has been effective and is making progress in the fight to take Mosul in Iraq from ISIS. Their agility, advanced training, and light footprint make them attractive for fighting in places where the US doesn't want to get bogged down.

"We're a nation that believes freedom can never be taken for granted".

On Monday, the White House released a 61-page report describing the extent of counterterrorism operations around the world, based on the October 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) congressional resolution.

Well, tough. Although when you stop to think about, it might well be time to shorten the transition so that the new president takes office, say, on the same day in the new year when the new Congress reconvenes.

Obama outlined how, over the past eight years, the United States has "built a counterterrorism capability that can sustain pressure against any terrorist network" by consolidating partnerships with foreign allies, utilizing drones and airstrikes to target terrorist safe havens, and resisting the urge to "push all of the burden onto American ground troops".

Obama said the USA "won World Wars without grabbing the resources of those we defeated".

He also conceded that the war against terrorism wouldn't have a satisfying ending, at least in the model of more traditional combat missions. Obama said that was because Baghdad refused to sign a pact granting legal protections to USA troops to stay, though officials have acknowledged privately over the years that Obama never forcefully pushed for such a deal. Among the units under the leadership of U.S. Special Operations Command, whose headquarters Obama was visiting Tuesday, are the Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs and the Army's Green Berets.

He was also expected to again address to use of drones to take out terrorists, a program that's drawn legal scrutiny and outrage in countries that have been targeted.

"Protecting liberty, that's something we do for all Americans - and not just some", he said, drawing applause from the audience.

Obama's main focus was the impact of the "war on terror" on democratic procedures and the potential transformation of the United States into a garrison state.

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