Barack Obama's presidency was initially constructed around the abandonment of the controversial phrase 'war on terror', specifically where this signalled a public rejection of the George W. Bush administration's presentation of foreign policy as an act of war. This chapter argues that Obama's success in waging control over US foreign policy rhetoric, although substantially more extensive than that seen in his first term, has remained limited. When addressing issues still relevant to the 'war on terror', and particularly the events of 9/11, Obama has continued to fall back on the same rhetoric as his predecessor, even to the extent that this has involved describing foreign policy as 'war'. Obama picks up on a number of linguistic devices that underpinned Bush's construction of the 'war on terror' narrative. Obama's clear commitment to abandoning the language of the 'war on terror' was always overly optimistic.