By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst, and Jennifer Rowland, Special to CNN
President Barack Obama has nominated his top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to be the next director of the CIA.
If there is an emerging Obama doctrine to deal with the threat from al Qaeda and its allies, it is clearly a rejection of the use of conventional military forces and a growing reliance instead on the use of drones and U.S. Special Operations Forces - and Brennan has been central to Obama's policy.
One of Brennan's most significant legacies in the four years he has been the president's principal adviser on terrorism is the American drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen - one that has shifted focus significantly in the past year or so.
The steadily increasing rate of drone strikes in Yemen over the past two years shows that the CIA's drone war - rather than declining – is shifting from one part of the world to another.
Brennan has been the key architect of this policy. The Arabic-speaking Brennan, who was once CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, in a sense became the "case officer" for the Yemen "account," traveling to Yemen seven times since al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula sent the so-called underwear bomber to try and bring down Northwest Flight 235 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.FULL STORY