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Obama will deliver his final major speech on national security as president at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says it's President Obama's final opportunity to elaborate on reforms he implemented to keep the USA safe.

Obama's first priority was to express his gratitude to the troops for their contributions to carrying out what Rhodes called a "different model of counter-terrorism" than that put in place under the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Previewing the speech for reporters Monday, Deputy National Security adviser Ben Rhodes said the president will specifically zero on how he has sought to shift military strategy away from large-scale deployments to more "sustainable" and targeted attacks on specific terrorist threats as commander in chief.

The White House shed new light Monday on the legal foundations for President Barack Obama's expansive use of USA military power to target extremists overseas, in a report that also offered the first confirmation that the US now deems the al-Shabab group in Somalia to be inherently linked to al-Qaida.

The decision reflects a deepening USA engagement in the fight against Islamic militants in Somalia as well as a broadening application for the law initially written to authorize the president to target al-Qaida.

In addition, Obama will renew his argument for closing the detention facility at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where 59 prisoners now remain. He has also voiced support for waterboarding captives.

At MacDill, home of the U.S.' Special Operations Command and Central Command, Obama was also expected to make the case for building coalitions with local governments while also focusing on killing leaders of terror groups like the so-called Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

On Monday, the administration released documents offering a comprehensive view on the White House's legal justification for several actions it has taken over the years, including a 66-page report explaining the " use of military force and related national security operations".