What would bring an end to the War on Terror? It would happen if al-Qaeda was so decimated that it no longer qualified as an adversary, according to Wired's Spencer Ackerman.
If and when the War on Terror ends, special military powers given to the president after the September 11th attacks may also come to an end, a high ranking Pentagon lawyer suggested on Friday. The 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), oft cited by the Obama administration for its military decisions, will expire, and along with it the ability to detain suspects not charged with a crime in Guantanamo Bay.
An expiration of the president's war powers would also raise questions about the administration's use of lethal drone strikes. The CIA drone strikes in particular, Ackerman writes, would come under scrutiny, as the legal rationale for them have never been disclosed.
But what would an end to al-Qaeda look like? Even the US military doesn't know, considering organization's loose structure. The organization hasn't launched a successful strike against the US (its involvement with the Benghazi, Libya attacks are suspect, at best) since Sept 11th, 2001.