10 Questions for President Obama About Keeping America Safe and Secure
President Obama delivers a speech on a new U.S. counter-terrorism strategy this afternoon. It’s reported this morning that his new policy includes limiting the tools available to eliminate terrorists abroad and a renewed effort to close the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The president is said to want to end the war on terror, but this new strategy leaves us with a number of questions about how exactly that will happen and who will win it. With continuing and evolving terrorist threats around the globe, and in the United States, this is no time to be pulling punches. So here are 10 questions for President Obama about his new counterterrorism strategy:
- Is it still your administration’s goal to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda?
- If you are scaling back the use of unmanned drones, what actions will you be taking as a substitute to ensure al Qaeda’s defeat?
- Is it your view that if the U.S. is less aggressive in eliminating terrorists abroad, the threat of terrorist attacks will diminish on its own?
- If your goal is to end the war on terror, what is your overarching strategy to win it?
- If you plan to remove terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, what steps will you take to guarantee they do not return to the battlefield, fighting our troops in Afghanistan, or otherwise wage war against the U.S. and our allies?
- Have you certified that nations who will receive these terrorists are capable of preventing them from returning to combat?
- Have you not used the authority you already have to transfer detainees to Yemen because you recognize that country doesn’t have the ability to track and monitor them?
- Will terrorist suspects, who could otherwise be captured and tried by military means, remain at large if you are unable to gather enough evidence to try them in civilian courts?
- What policies will remain in place to be able to detain and interrogate terrorists still held in Afghanistan or those newly captured?
- What is more important: fulfilling old, poll-tested, ideological campaign pledges or keeping America safe and secure?