Obama extends ‘war on terrorism’ theater to Yemen
February 1, 2010 2 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Think what you like about Barack Obama. The fact is, his administration is currently overseeing the most rapid expansion in the nine-year history of Washington’s so-called ‘war on terrorism’. The operations theater of this ever-expanding war now includes territories deep inside Pakistan (not just near the Afghan borderlands), as well as parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. With respect to the latter, intelNews is one of a handful of specialized outlets that began paying attention to US involvement there before the US airstrikes of last December, which in the eyes of the Arab world, formalized America’s military presence in the country. As predicted at the time, the strikes, which were accompanied by a Saudi military invasion of Yemen, became a rallying cry for both Sunni and Shiite Islamists in the Yemen-Saudi border, and have caused increased activity by both Shiite (Sa’dah insurgency) and Sunni (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP) militants. Washington’s reaction appears to be to intensify its logistical and military support of the Yemeni government of president Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose weak and corrupt rule is limited to the country’s urban centers. The Washington Post reported late last week that the Obama Administration is considering doubling military assistance to Yemen from $70 to almost $150 million annually. This amount does not include covert assistance in the form of clandestine participation by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which is reportedly already in Yemen “tracking and killing suspected terrorists”. JSOC’s involvement in Yemen, which The Post describes as “deep”, is accompanied by increasing logistical support by the CIA and the National Security Agency. Meanwhile, there are accusations that US and Saudi intelligence agencies are recruiting al-Qaeda-linked mercenaries to fight off the Shiites of the Sa’dah insurgency. If this is true, it won’t be the first time. Middle East observers will remember that US forces recruited Sunni paramilitaries to combat Shiite resurgence in Iraq after 2005.