Obama Lays Out Strategy for 'New Phase' in Terror Fight

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Obama has also faced mounting pressure on both sides of the political aisle to explain the U.S.'s policy around drone attacks and when he believes the government is justified in targeting U.S. citizens.

In March, Republican Tea Party-backed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) filibustered CIA Director John Brennan's confirmation hearing for 13 hours to protest the U.S. drone program.

And on Wednesday, the human rights group Amnesty International, released a new report blasting the administration's drone program for perpetrating executions in violation of international human rights law.

By laying out publicly his administration's policy for the future of the war on terror at the onset of his second term, Obama may be looking to solidify his presidential legacy.

"I think when it comes to the drone program and the future of the war against al Queda, he's thinking of what he wants to leave in place for the next president," Parsow said. "He's a young man; he's going to have a lot of years to look back on what he has wrought."

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