“The individuals related in the Benghazi attack, those that we believe were either participants or leadership of it, are not authorized use of military force,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a top-secret hearing of the House Armed Services Committee Oct. 10.

Dempsey said the U.S. military could do little more than act like a sheriff’s posse, sent out to round up suspects.

“In other words, they don’t fall under the AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force] authorized by the Congress of the United States,” Dempsey continued, in testimony declassified Jan. 13. “So we would not have the capability to simply find them and kill them, either with a remotely-piloted aircraft or with an assault on the ground.”

Apparently, amid a new kind of war featuring non-state actors, the U.S. military—and, more critically, the government directing it—remain stuck in the past, where each side wears unique uniforms and complies with the Geneva Conventions.