Lethal strikes by armed drones are America’s best and less obtrusive method of killing Islamic militants and dismantling their terror networks while minimizing civilian casualties. Or they’re a misguided and counter-productive attempt at sterilizing the dirty work of counter-terrorism — one that serves as a rallying cry for terrorist recruiters and ends up creating more militants than it eliminates.
Archived posts with tag ‘Yemen’
An innocuous-seeming U.S. Air Force press release. A serendipitous satellite image in Google Earth. Snapshots from a photographer on assignment at a Spanish air base. The crash of an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber in the United Arab Emirates. These are some of the fragments of information that Italian aviation blogger David Cenciotti has assembled to reveal the best picture yet of the Pentagon’s secretive war in the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
by DANIEL R. DePETRIS Al Qaeda’s core organizational leadership may be at its weakest point in over a decade but the group’s regional franchises are certainly making up for their losses. Nowhere in the world is this more obvious than in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, with a government fractured internally and system of [...]
Washington is quietly establishing at least two new East African drone bases, plus one on the Arabian Peninsula, to support the expanding U.S. shadow war against Islamic militants in Somalia and Yemen. An apparently new facility has been built in Ethiopia. In the island nation of Seychelles, a defunct airfield is being reactivated. A third base is being set up in or near Yemen.
The U.S. Navy’s new strategy document, Vision for Confronting Irregular Challenges, aims to describe how’s the world’s number-one navy will tackle seaborne threats including “terrorists and criminals prey[ing] on unstable and failing regions.” Problem is, the document conflates these two groups, and conflates terrorists with nationalist insurgents. In one key passage, the authors highlight the Navy’s “counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa which remove financial support to terrorists ashore and reduce instability and criminality at sea.”
The Brute-Force Yemen Air Campaign
There’s a great piece by Tom Cooper in the latest Combat Aircraft on the Yemeni air force and its campaign against Islamic separatists. Cooper criticizes the secretive Yemeni air service for participating in an industrial-style bombardment strategy that shows “very little understanding of classic [counter-insurgency] doctrine.”
Can Yemen Stop Al Qaeda?
During a panel at the New America Foundation (NAF), a respected Washington, D.C. think tank, several scholars with experience in the region questioned the Yemeni government’s ability to mount effective anti-terrorism operations within the nation’s borders.
by DAVID AXE A spokesman for the Somali Islamic group Al Shabab told reporters his forces have been bolstered by fighters from Yemen. “We have received fighters from the Arabian Peninsula — I mean in Yemen — to bolster our fighters on the ground,” Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage said. “There is not any other alternative [...]
by DAVID AXE As part of its escalating campaign against Islamic terrorists based in Yemen, the U.S. government has expanded efforts to crack down on terrorist financiers in the Middle Eastern country. But the counter-finance approach in Yemen is complicated by the same factors that have stymied similar efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Extremists operate [...]