News that the United States has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen — and reports that Houthi rebels have seized U.S. Marines’ weapons — have laid bare the failure of U.S. policy in the country.
The Houthis — a Shiite insurgent group backed by Iran — are now the key power brokers in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. They have also extended their presence far south of their historical northern stronghold, advances that prompted Yemen’s entire executive branch to resign on January 22, following a successful siege of the presidential compound.
In the process, the Houthis have destroyed Yemen’s legal government, thrown out its draft constitution, infiltrated its intelligence services and security forces, and demanded that all sides in Yemen’s complex and acrimonious socio-political-economic system play by their rules.… Seguir leyendo »
President Obama says the United States is looking to its Yemen policy as a model for what to do in Iraq and Syria. But what the president labels the “Yemen model” has not been as successful as the White House claims; indeed, it is in danger of collapse. Attempting to replicate it in much more challenging conditions in Iraq and Syria will almost certainly fail.
A little background: The United States partners with the government of Yemen against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which remains the most imminent direct al-Qaeda threat to the U.S. homeland. AQAP’s top leadership includes Osama bin Laden’s former secretary, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, now reportedly al-Qaeda’s general manager; former Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim al Rubaish; and its innovative bombmaker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who continues to target the United States and U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
What exactly is al-Qaeda? And who cares? Confusion about how to define the terrorist group is rife. Was al-Qaeda involved in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya , that left four Americans dead? The Obama administration says no. Are the groups proliferating around Africa and the Middle East really part of the al-Qaeda that toppled the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon?
There is no simple answer. Al-Qaeda is a global terrorist organization that relies on secrecy to survive. Even al-Qaeda members are confused about each other’s status: The leader of the group in Yemen had to ask his Algerian counterpart for clarification about Ansar al-Din’s relationship to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.… Seguir leyendo »