Ever since September 11, 2001, the US government has been using military force to pursue and destroy avowed and suspected al Qaeda terrorists via a Congressional authorization passed immediately after the attacks on New York and Washington D.C. However, with the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the decimation of al Qaeda's ability to stage organized, large-scale terrorist attacks, the US has begun to experience diminishing security returns on its use of force due to a rapidly dwindling pool of credible and significant targets, as well as an increase in the negative geopolitical consequences of continuing in a military capacity. According to a Guardian article, one of the Obama administration's top legal figures, Jeh Johnson - General Counsel to the Department of Defense - has said we may be approaching a point where the 2001 legal authorization is put to rest: In essence, when the so-called War on Terror ends, and we return to dealing with terrorism via law enforcement and, in more extreme cases, covert actions rather than explicit warfare.
We are all well aware of the political habit of never ending a nebulous war that serves the interests of power - after all, huge factions of the federal bureaucracy still insist that we are waging a "War on Drugs" despite its overwhelming objective failure, expense, and destructiveness over decades - but given the prominence of Jeh Johnson and the tremendous political capital being enjoyed by the Obama administration, I think there is reasonable cause to hope that at some point we may see victory declared in this "war" in all but name. Obviously the actual word "victory" will not be used, since terrorism will always exist, and any moronic street thug in the Arab world with an Islamist bent can namedrop al Qaeda to get attention and make themselves feel important, but for all intents and purposes victory may be acknowledged and implemented in fact.
Most Americans, who in general aren't especially conversant in these matters, probably already consider the matter settled since Osama Bin Laden was killed, but many of the more informed people - as well as governments and activists abroad - have been troubled, if not enraged, by the ongoing drone war in places like Pakistan and Yemen. If we do indeed reach a point where we can say that the pool of terrorist talent has been so decimated that the targets being shot are literally a waste of ammunition - which seems to be the implication of Johnson's remarks - then, as much as there would be resistance in certain communities (e.g., the CIA) to giving up the power the drone war had given them, it is very much credible that it could be officially ended, and soon.
While this is obviously not guaranteed, and we could expect plenty of resistance and blowback from the usual suspects, if it were to happen, and if the administration follows through on its plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, that would mean this is the first administration in history to end three wars - leaving Iraq, passing off the war against the taliban in Afghanistan to Afghans, and decisively winning the main event, the war on the terrorist insurgency that attacked us on 9/11. Now, clearly a quiet end is more likely than triumphalism and fanfare, since the latter would be discredited if anything at all ever happens again from Islamic terrorists on American soil, but the accomplishment would be none the lesser.