“Washington, D.C. – President Barack Obama has pointed to Yemen to boast that his new global anti-terror strategy was thriving. But with Iranian-backed rebels now overrunning the US ally tasked with beating back local al-Qaeda affiliates, the nation at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula makes a better case study in the approach’s limitations.
“Yemen was the petri dish for Obama’s concept of how to fight Islamic extremists with a hybrid warfare of US drone strikes, special forces and on-the-ground intelligence provided by local partners. The theory was that, after learning the bloody lessons of protracted ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States could no longer bear the cost of inserting its large, vulnerable land armies into hostile Muslim nations.
“Instead, Washington would eliminate terrorists by partnering with friendly governments and forces in regions as diverse as the Persian Gulf, the Levant and Africa in a more sustainable campaign against Islamic extremism. But the success of some of these campaigns is in question, as regional allies have proven too week or disorganized to sustain the anti-terror actions the US is looking for.
“For a while, the partnership with Yemen worked. The local government in concert with the CIA and Special Forces assets on the ground, and a deadly umbrella of drone strikes, pinned down the deadliest franchise left in Osama bin Laden’s empire, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
“But, Yemen’s instability always threatened to derail the effort and the country’s treacherous tribal and political stew finally boiled over in January when Houthi rebels overthrew President Abd Mansour Hadi, Washington’s latest partner in the capital of Sanaa.
“Obama’s critics argue that the events in Yemen undercut his hands-off approach and leave his anti-terror strategy full of holes. They blame him for abdicating a US leadership role in the Middle East that has spanned multiple presidencies. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is mulling a run for president, said: “The region is on fire. Leading from behind is not working.”
However, president Obama, in true American spirit, has not given up. In fact, he exclusively revealed to Newslo a part of his plan to both regain US control in Yemen and gain an advantage over Iran in the nuclear talks.
“I’m not really sure how I didn’t come up with this sooner,” he said. “It’s the perfect plan that guarantees the US will once again demonstrate its superior intellect and sense of strategy in the face of its opponent.”
“If the uranium is stored in Yemen, who is practically Iran’s right hand at the moment, we will have forged a long-term solution that will guarantee peace in the region for years to come, not to mention the fact that there will almost be no consequences of radiation; the place is a desert, who will it hurt? It’s like killing two birds with one stone,” the president concluded.