By Pam Benson
Even with the war in Afghanistan winding down, the United States will continue its fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates, wherever they may be, by using all means available in an armed conflict, the Pentagon’s chief lawyer said Friday.
“We must counter al Qaeda in the places where it seeks to establish safe haven and prevent it from reconstituting in others. To do this, we must utilize every national security element of our government,” said Jeh Johnson, the top lawyer for the U.S. Defense Department, at a speech Friday at Oxford University in England.
Those elements of force, he said, include unmanned aerial vehicles, widely referred to as drones, to kill suspected terrorists hiding in the ungoverned regions of Pakistan, in Yemen and elsewhere, as well as the indefinite detention of extremists caught on the battlefield.
Johnson said that some legal scholars and commentators refer to…
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