Speed Reads

nudge nudge

Obama urges continued pursuit of 'smart strategy' in counterterrorism fight in final national security speech

At Florida's MacDill Air Force Base for his final national security speech, President Obama on Tuesday looked back at his administration's progress in the fight against terrorism and outlined the work that still needs to be done going forward. Acknowledging that the threat of terrorism "will endure," Obama emphasized the need to "pursue a smart strategy that can be sustained" — a remark CNN described as an "implicit message" to President-elect Donald Trump, who has suggested he will assume a more aggressive approach than Obama has.

Detailing the foreign policy successes of his administration, Obama advised against offering "false promises that we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs" or taking up practices like torture and waterboarding that are not "true to our laws." Obama also stressed the need for America to remain steadfast in its leadership, and he warned against "the mistake" of elevating terrorists as if they "pose an existential threat to our nation."

“No foreign terrorist organization has planned and executed an attack on our homeland in the last eight years," Obama said. "And it is not because they didn't try."