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Meanwhile, In Yemen

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I'm sorry, I thought that during the SOTU that the president said things were working out well in Yemen....Was he talking about a different Yemen? :huh:



The page has turned!


So everysing is turned to da better in ME!

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What a disgrace...



Official: Houthis seize U.S. Embassy vehicles, Marines' weapons at airport

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN)Houthi rebels took all U.S. Embassy vehicles parked at the Yemeni capital's airport and wouldn't let departing U.S. Marines take their weapons with them, a top Sanaa airport official said about the latest evidence of unrest in an Arab nation long seen as key in America's fight against terrorists.

The actions come after the United States, along with Britain, suspended operations at their embassies and moved out staffers because of the instability in Yemen.

According to the official, the Houthis seized many U.S. Marines' weapons at the airport, and the American troops also handed over some to random airport officials Wednesday.

The previous night, embassy officials burned tens of thousands of documents and destroyed weapons that were inside the Sanaa embassy's storage warehouses, Yemeni employees of the embassy said.


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The question is why hasn't anything been done? Part of the Yemeni military remained loyal to the government and were fighting the advancing Houthis, wouldn't air support by US and maybe KSA change the situation on the ground? Having Iranian proxy ruling the country is not the best idea.

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At least the Marines were allowed to maintain a shred of dignity:

Marines Destroyed All Weapons in Yemen Evacuation


' "The Marine Security Force left the American embassy in Yemen for the movement to the airfield as part of the 'ordered departure' with only personal weapons. All crew-served weapons were destroyed at the Embassy prior to movement. None of them were 'handed over' in any way to anyone," the Marine Corps said.


' "Upon arrival at the airfield, all personal weapons were rendered inoperable in accordance with advance planning," the statement said. "Specifically, each bolt was removed from its weapons body and rendered inoperable by smashing with sledgehammers. The weapons' bodies, minus the bolts, were then separately smashed with sledgehammers." '

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Posted this in FFZ post before seing this topic.


How we lost Yemen. The United States used the Pakistan playbook on Yemen's terrorists. It didn't work.




The answer is simple, if rather disheartening: Faulty assumptions and a mistaken focus paired with a resilient, adaptive enemy have created a serious problem for the United States.


In Afghanistan and Pakistan, al Qaeda was largely a group of Arabs in non-Arab countries. In Yemen, al Qaeda is made up mostly of Yemenis living in Yemen.


The United States can target and kill someone as a terrorist, only to have Yemenis take up arms to defend him as a tribesman. In time, many of these men are drawn to al Qaeda not out of any shared sense of ideology, but rather out of a desire to get revenge on the country that killed their fellow tribesman.


Further compounding the problem is the U.S. insistence on focusing on personalities instead of the broader network. This is what CIA officials refer to as "mowing the lawn" of terrorism, but it comes at the expense of not attacking the root system.



CT operations primarily based on drone strikes is a balance of risk. Very little risk incurred to US Forces, a great deal of risk of collateral damage.


For years, the elite Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA had teams deployed inside Yemen that supported Yemeni forces and conducted unilateral operations, consisting mostly of cruise missile and drone attacks. Some of the unilateral strikes have killed their intended targets, such as the CIA attack on Awlaki. But others have killed civilians—at times, a lot of civilians. And many of these have been in Abyan and its neighboring province of Shebwa, both of which have recently seen a substantial rise of AQAP activity. President Obama’s first known authorization of a missile strike on Yemen, on December 17, 2009, killed more than forty Bedouins, many of them women and children, in the remote village of al Majala in Abyan. Another US strike, in May 2010, killed an important tribal leader and the deputy governor of Marib province, Jabir Shabwani, sparking mass anger at the United States and Saleh’s government. “I think these airstrikes were based on false intelligence from the regime, because that is the nature of the contractor,” Qahtan charges. “The contractor wants to create more work in return for earning more money.”


The October drone strike that killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a US citizen, and his teenage cousin shocked and enraged Yemenis of all political stripes. “I firmly believe that the [military] operations implemented by the US performed a great service for Al Qaeda, because those operations gave Al Qaeda unprecedented local sympathy,” says Jamal, the Yemeni journalist. The strikes “have recruited thousands.” Yemeni tribesmen, he says, share one common goal with Al Qaeda, “which is revenge against the Americans, because those who were killed are the sons of the tribesmen, and the tribesmen never, ever give up on revenge.” Even senior officials of the Saleh regime recognize the damage the strikes have caused. “People certainly resent these [uS] interventions,” Qirbi, the foreign minister and a close Saleh ally, concedes.


This are classic CT vs COIN lessons learned and relearned in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq...

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It shows the utter lack of ability to analyze and understand both the strategic situation and threat. Everything is idealogically driven. I can only hope the next admin does a xi jinping style house clearing.


Either that or the decision to take the politically expedient Course of action dispite the strategic situation and threat.

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Drones appeal to US politicians as it means jobs at home and minimal losses of people overseas. People also fail to consider the US landscape when they speak of COIN.

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The question is why hasn't anything been done? Part of the Yemeni military remained loyal to the government and were fighting the advancing Houthis, wouldn't air support by US and maybe KSA change the situation on the ground? Having Iranian proxy ruling the country is not the best idea.


I think you overlooked that this whole businness of trying to pick winners and losers in middle east civil wars has backfired in a rather spectacular manner so far pretty much every time it has been attempted and given there are actually worse possible outcomes than "Iranian proxies in charge" might as well let Darwin have a field day on this one. You aren't going to bomb this trainwreck of a country into something functional, that's for sure .



I think the lesson should be that drones are an interesting battlfield multiplier, but should only be used on a population that we are at war with, not one we would like to have on our side, or at least remain neutral. The costs outweigh the benifits.



Yeah, but bombing is probably now almost an automatic reflex.

Edited by Marcello
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Of all resources, human resources is most important. If human resources are of poor quality. Then there is no helping it other than improving the human resources itself first. People like to point to the successful occupation of Germany and Japan. But the human resource level of those two places are top notch. Yemen, Afghanistan? Nope. Iraq maybe a little better but still far from Germany or Japan human resource levels. So yeah, bombing it might just needlessly get their bad attention. Since it has great interest in Saudi Arabia as to what happens in Yemen, let them beg for US military assistance in Yemen first.

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