In 2009, the CIA launched more than 50 drone strikes, according to a tally by ABC News. That's more than the total drone attacks in the previous five years combined. From 2004 to 2008, there were 46 drone strikes, according to data from the Long War Journal.
A drone strike in South Waziristan in August killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, considered to be one of the chief leaders behind attacks in Pakistan and against American interests.
As the president's State of the Union speech approaches, he is expected to address in detail the national security challenges and the administration's steps moving forward.
"He'll take some forceful position that encompasses everybody's opinion," Gelb told ABC News. "That's his pattern."
But don't look for any references to bin Laden, experts say.
"My recommend is for the administration to publicly minimize the importance of this individual and the mention of his name," Nelson said. "Every time his name is mentioned, it elevates his status and serves as a recruiting tool. I think we have to avoid that as a nation."