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Five Months of the War on Yemen

Nancy Youssef reports [1] on how the war on Yemen is strengthening Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP):

Not only is Saudi Arabia failing to stop the group’s expansion, but some fear the kingdom is colluding with AQAP to fight the Houthis, Iranian-backed rebels whom Saudi Arabia considers a bigger threat. Indeed, there have been reports that AQAP and Saudi Arabia worked together in the initial efforts last month to push the Houthis out of Aden.

The Saudis have made their priorities in the region very clear over the last few years, and combating jihadist groups hasn’t been one of them. Riyadh’s obsession with countering Iranian influence, real or imagined, has consistently taken precedence in both Syria and Yemen, so it should come as no surprise that the Saudis are at best indifferent to the empowerment of jihadist groups in both places and at worst are actively promoting that outcome. U.S. clients in the region are pursuing goals that are at odds with U.S. interests, and especially the case of Yemen they are waging a war that is detrimental to U.S. and regional security. By itself, that wouldn’t be all that surprising, but the remarkable thing is that the U.S. has been pleased to help them from the beginning of the intervention in March. Five months later, despite ample evidence of Saudi war crimes and the horrific effects of their blockade on the civilian population, the U.S. continues to lend aid to its awful clients. Our government is helping to batter and starve an entire country simply to placate a band of despots.

It is often assumed that U.S. support for the cruel and unnecessary Saudi intervention in Yemen is a trade-off to get their support for the nuclear deal, but if that is the real reason for it the administration has made a bad exchange. While it might be preferable to have Saudi and GCC support for the deal, that support isn’t needed. It certainly doesn’t justify backing an appalling war that is empowering some of our worst enemies.

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5 Comments To "Five Months of the War on Yemen"

#1 Comment By some day On August 26, 2015 @ 4:50 pm

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Larison and others, this catastrophe, one in which we are heavily implicated, is beginning to register.

US support for what the Saudis are doing is mindless and self-destructive. We owed the Saudis sound, sober advice. Instead, in the name of “friendship” and “loyalty” we handed the car keys to a drunk.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On August 26, 2015 @ 6:04 pm

Very good for the war profiteering businesses here that benefit from it, though. From their economic perspective, what’s not to like? Once it’s been decided to start the killing, why would collateral deaths of civilians be any concern?

#3 Comment By a spencer On August 26, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

Obama? Say something.

You’re the President of the United States. Explain US participation.

#4 Comment By Fred Bowman On August 27, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

Anymore people in the US will support any military actions against “Muslims”. The fact of the matter is Muslim beliefs and politics are as varied as those as Christians. Basically the US is choosing sides in a “family feud” which has nothing to do with us. And then when it’s said and done “Both sides” end up hating us for our interference. Most times it’s best to mind your own business, but unfortunately Washington never learns.

#5 Comment By Myron Hudson On August 28, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

I wonder. Saudi Arabia continues to produce during an oil glut which is depressing oil prices, and we put up with (and support) actions detrimental to regional stability and our own long term security. Quid pro quo? Too simple, for sure, but I wonder if it is indeed a factor.