Yet the Al Qaeda organization remains the "most clear and present danger to US security," Director Michael Hayden said in a speech Thursday.
A 2004 classified order authorized the military to attack Al Qaeda operatives around the globe. As many as a dozen raids occurred under this mandate.
The Marine barracks bombing 25 years ago ushered in a new era of large-scale Al Qaeda attacks against the US and its allies.
Frustration with such strikes is rising in Pakistan. On Thursday, the parliament called for making talks with militants the 'top priority.'
Some tribes have forced insurgents from their area, but many risks remain.