The United States will push ahead with more targeted drone strikes and special operations raids like Iraq and Afghanistan in the continuing war against al-Qaeda.
The doctrine, two years in the making, comes in the wake of the successful special operations raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May, and a week after President Barack Obama‘s announcement that U.S. troops will begin leaving Afghanistan this summer.
White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the reworked doctrine acknowledges the growing threat of terrorism at home, including al-Qaeda attempts to recruit and attack inside the United States.
The operations Brennan describes are almost solely the province of the intelligence and military special operations agencies, especially the CIA and elite forces of the Joint Special Operations Command that worked together to carry out the bin Laden raid, but also including the special operations trainers that work with host nations’ militaries.
Brennan said his White House was using every “lawful tool and authority available” in the fight against terrorists, describing Obama’s rejection of the Bush White House’s interrogation of terror suspects by methods such as waterboarding.
Brennan repeated the administration’s mantra that it wants to “safely” close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after either prosecuting terror suspects in the U.S. or by military commissions, or by releasing them to their home nations.