Though many Americans may not have realized it, December 28th marked what the U.S. government called the official end of the war in Afghanistan.

That war has been the longest in U.S. history – but despite the new announcement that the formal conflict is over, America’s war there is far from finished.

In fact, the Obama administration still considers the Afghan theater an area of active hostilities, according to an email from a senior administration official – and therefore exempts it from the stricter drone and targeted killing guidelines the president announced at a major speech at the National Defense University in 2013.

“Afghanistan will continue to be considered an ‘area of active hostilities’ in 2015,” the official tells RS. “The PPG does not apply to areas of active hostilities.” (PPG stands for Presidential Policy Guidelines, the formal name for the heightened drone rules.)

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