The CIA's drone strike program in Pakistan, once the mainstay of the Obama administration's counterterrorism effort, is winding down. One reason: the targeted killing operation relies on drones flown from — and intelligence gathered by — bases in Afghanistan, which will be closing down as the U.S. withdraws.


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What has the U.S. learned in this engagement?

- They can wage war across international borders with impunity.

- They are not bound by international agreements concerning violent conflict.

- Most important of these is that an "enemy combatant" (to use some of the lingua de jour) does not have the opportunity to surrender to a drone...

So the middle-east was both sandbox and precedent for any future conflict?