Bob Schieffer on Obama's counterterrorism speech: You can't just declare war on terror over

(CBS News) President Barack Obama is laying the groundwork for a major shift in the fight against terror.

In his policy speech on Thursday, the president said the United States will focus more on smaller terror networks and homegrown extremists.

Should President Obama end the war on terror?

The speech acted as a kind of "realignment of forces," pointed out Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation."

In his speech, the president renewed his call to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and announced new guidelines to govern the use of targeted drone strikes on foreign soil.

"It's a redrawing of strategy on how we're going to confront terrorism," Schieffer said. "The president said yesterday -- the quote that everybody is picking up is that, 'This war, like all wars, must end,' but you just cannot declare 'this war is over.' It takes two to tango, as it were. The war will be over when the terrorists stop attacking us.

"And I think the government's going to have to be very careful that this is not misread by those on the other side," Schieffer continued. "This does not mean, as I understand it, that we're going to stop tracking down these terrorists or any of that kind of thing or confronting them when we find them. It means that, for one thing, we're going to bring this large force of people home from Afghanistan and use those resources in a different way. But there's going to be a lot of controversy about this. ... A lot of Republicans are going to say 'this is premature, this is not yet over,' and that it will be misunderstood."

But, the speech, Schieffer pointed out, was a long time in coming and now, he said, "at least, we have something of the president's vision of where we go and how we go from here."

For more with Bob Schieffer -- including what he calls "outrageous overreach" in Washington, watch his full analysis in the video above.

  • Amanda Cochran

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