The United States was forced to evacuate the embassy in Yemen last week, not two weeks after President Obama said his strategy in dealing with ISIS will model that which he has used in Yemen and Somalia. Susan Rice explained that it is a policy that combines containment and a “knock on wood”.
Most of Yemen’s capital of Sanaa was taken over by the Iranian-backed Houthis even after they signed a deal to withdraw and disarm.
In exchange for this agreement, the Houthis were promised they’d be included in the government. It will give Iran a foothold.
The Gulf states warned that the instability of Yemen threatens the entire region. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC comprised of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.) demanded they withdraw and return all stolen property.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has stepped in to fill whatever void they can find. They have been trying to topple the government and are now turning their attention to the Houthis according to al Jazeera.
“Do not leave a checkpoint for them that you do not strike, nor a headquarters that you do not bomb,” said an AQAP statement posted online.
“Lie in wait for them, cause harm to them on the roads, tighten the ambushes for them, and do not let them feel safe.”
Two-and-a-half weeks ago, in laying out his strategy to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria through airstrikes, President Obama cited Somalia and Yemen as examples of where the United States has been successful in fighting terrorism.
“But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. 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,” Obama said.
Yemen is not an example of an effective strategy as Mr. Obama would have us believe, it is proof that a light footprint strategy will not work.
Josh Dis-Earnest stands by Barack Obama’s pinprick strategy in Yemen.
Susan Rice, the national security adviser, put her own spin on it after the partial takeover of the Yemeni capital by Houthis. She admitted that the strategy was one of containment. They operate on minimalistic intervention in lieu of real strategizing.
Remarkably, she said they’ve been able to “roll back the terrorist threat in both these countries”. She said this as Al Qaeda and Iran battle for power in Yemen and as Somalia continues as a lawless state overrun with terrorists.
This administration is unable to comprehend the danger presented by Iran or even al Qaeda.
Rice told NPR that Somalia and Yemen are not considered successful models because they are successful states. Rather, she pointed to the use of U.S. air power in both countries, noting that “it is fair to say that we haven’t been attacked directly out of Somalia or Yemen in several years.”
“I will knock on wood as I say that,” Rice said. “But it is a fact that cooperating with Yemenis, cooperating with Somalis and the African Union, we have been able to contain and roll back the terrorist threat in both those countries and to do so with partners on the ground and U.S. air power.”
The same approach was used in the failed state and terrorist haven of Libya.
Now we know what our foreign policy is. It is to contain terrorists with a pinprick strategy and then knock on wood.
We know that Mr. Obama also follows the golden rule of all fine strategists everywhere – “Don’t do stupid sh…stuff.”