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The U.S. drone strike that killed Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of al-Qaida and one of the last remaining architects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, delivered a measure of justice. It did not deliver resolution in the debates still surrounding U.S. counterterrorism policy.

For President Joe Biden, the strike shows America can still target bad guys even after the controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan. For his critics, it shows that the U.S. pullout allowed al-Qaida’s leadership to take up residence in Kabul. There is some truth to both arguments.

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