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Obama outlines new strategies in war on terrorism

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Updated: 5/23/2013 3:36 pm
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Obama Limits Drone Use

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(NBC News) President Obama said Thursday the terrorist threat has changed and our fight against it should be scaled back.

"A perpetual war, through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments, will prove self-defeating," Mr. Obama said. "This war, like all wars, must end."

Another 9/11, he said, looks less likely, even though terrorists are still active.

"But if dealt with smartly and proportionally these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11," the president added.

With with Osama Bin Laden dead and Al Qaeda decimated in Pakistan and weakened in Yemen by U.S. drone attacks, President Obama laid out new guidelines.

Drones strikes will only be used to "prevent attacks" and only with "near certainty" that no civilians will be killed.

Still, he won't stop using drones altogether.

"The result would be more U.S. deaths, more Blackhawks down, more confrontations with local populations," he explained.

Homegrown Islamic terror, suspected in Boston, is the growing threat.

"And the best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community - which has consistently rejected terrorism," Mr. Obama argued.

The president is also sending more inmates back to their home countries from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba.

That's a move some Republicans support, but they're upset by the president scaling back the war on terror.

"To somehow argue that Al Qaeda is quote "on the run" comes from a degree of unreality that, to me, is really incredible," argued Arizona's Senator John McCain.

-- Steve Handelsman, NBC News, reports
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