Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

US counter-terror policy failure in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another excellent report (besides Scahill’s Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires ) on US CT failure in Yemen, Recipe for Failure at Critical

“Saleh’s reach extended throughout the state’s organs, making it nearly impossible to disentangle his patronage network from the actual state. In this respect, Saleh’s Yemen was much more like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq than like Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, in which the military retained a considerable degree of autonomy.[1]…

Even the Saleh-controlled Yemeni state was already failing before the revolution, moreover, as the government attempted to juggle interrelated socioeconomic and security challenges. Yemen’s unemployment rate was already over 40 percent and over half of its population is illiterate…

The (US) strategy of pursuing political appeasement in order to build an ordered Yemeni state able to reconsolidate control and combat terrorists does not so far appear to be very promising…

Like American diplomats, U.S. policy apart from direct-action operations is thus now largely confined to the capital.[10] American soft-power efforts have historically channeled almost entirely through the central government at Saleh’s insistence.

It is far from clear that American strategy toward Yemen as it was operating before 2011 would have been successful. But the tools of that strategy have been severely degraded even as the threats and challenges have grown. This growing divergence between means and ends demands a fundamental re-evaluation of American strategy toward Yemen, but there does not appear to have been any such re-evaluation. The Obama administration has not articulated a shift in American strategy in Yemen since the outbreak of the Arab Spring and the general contours of U.S. policy have not changed. The current approach could conceivably succeed nevertheless, but only if a large number of improbable assumptions prove to be valid…

Until the U.S. government recognizes that its current approach is nearly certain to fail, it will not put the necessary energy into crafting a new one.

Its important to grasp the basic structure before you make the plan.

1 Comment


Comment by Graf Cackle

2/20/2012 @ 7:58 am

Maybe noone ever showed Barack Obama Yemen on the map?

It seems that the interest of some American state elements is not to win these dumb wars, but to nurture or conjure a hydra of enemies and maintain a losing war as long as possible, to justify the ongoing militarisation

Al Qaeda, pirates in Somalia (supplied by Saleh?), gives justification for ongoing destabilisation, and US military presence, at the gates of the Persian Gulf

Seems paranoid, but how else to explain?

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