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Mar. 23, 2015

Obama Lost the War With Al-Qaida in Yemen

How will the Obama administration explain this one? As recently as last September, Barack Obama was pointing to Yemen as an example of his (sole?) foreign policy success. “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” he boasted. But Yemen is a vastly different place as of last weekend, because ISIL claimed responsibility for a series of mosque bombings that left 137 people dead and 357 wounded. In response, the U.S. decided to pull the 100 U.S. Special Forces from the country. The spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, DC, Mohammed al-Basha, wrote on Twitter, “I hate to say this, but I’m hearing the loud and clear beating of the drums of war in Yemen.” The Iran-backed Houthis group has grown in the country, ISIL may have opened up one of its terrorist franchises there, and al-Qaida still exists, despite the U.S. drone program that is now nonexistent thanks to the troop pullout. The only group standing up to the impending chaos? The Yemeni army. As The Wall Street Journal said: The U.S. just lost the war with al-Qaida. More…

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