Just to follow up on Ryan’s post:  Mark Mazzetti’s story for the Times, assuming it is accurate, confirms what I tried to explain in a post a few weeks ago — namely, that whether one U.S. agency rather than another engages in the use of force abroad, and whether the U.S. acknowledges its role in that use of force, are typically a function not of the law, but instead of the particular things that allies might insist upon as a condition of their cooperation and/or consent.  Accordingly, to the extent anyone wishes to change U.S. practices in these respects, it is essential to consider how, if at all, one might work to change those underlying diplomatic realities.