8. Al Qaeda: dead or alive?
The United States has beaten the "core" of al Qaeda that attacked the U.S. homeland on Sept. 11, 2001, officials like to say. But they also warn that its tentacles continue to spread across the Middle East and North Africa. Maybe both can be true, but the question for 2013 is how much the U.S. military will stay in pursuit, as Obama surrogates like top Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson float to key allies a phrase considered taboo for conservatives: "law enforcement."