Bin Laden ordered evacuation of his leaders from Pakistan
Withdraw from danger
He feared the pressing effectiveness of drones and U.S. strikes. He also regretted killing Muslim civilians in Iraq, saying that having done that undermined al Qaeda.
“Bin Laden wanted to save what remained of his network by evacuating it from the free-fire zone of Pakistan’s tribal areas. He noted “the importance of the exit from Waziristan of the brother leaders. . . . Choose distant locations to which to move them, away from aircraft photography and bombardment.””
Via David Ignatius, Washington Post
Conclusion: U.S. surveillance from the sky and use of drones is effective against terrorists where we don’t need to put boots on the ground to neutralize them.