The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Obama administration’s calculated gamble during the past three years in Yemen has crumbled in recent days, leaving the country on the brink of a civil war with U.S. troops involved in counterterror operations withdrawing amid intense fighting.
What happened in Yemen, according to descriptions by current and former officials and experts, was a miscalculation about the changes unleashed by the Arab Spring revolutions. It involved an overreliance by Washington on a promising new leader who ultimately was unable to hold off rival forces and tensions, they said.
As a result, a country President Barack Obama last year cited as a model of American counterterrorism success has now descended into chaos, with U.S. influence and drone strikes no match for at least four sides at war with one another.
“In many ways, this is all the Thanksgiving Dinner from hell,” said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official and director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is people who have been dealing with each other for a long time, none are satisfied, and the fight has broken out. And the first thing is figuring out who the different sides are.”
The U.S. and allies such as Yemen’s neighbor Saudi Arabia had tried to take advantage of the Arab Spring revolution in Yemen in 2011. They supported a new, friendly regime led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The White House hailed Mr. Hadi’s leadership and—with his cooperation—carried out dozens of drone strikes against the country’s al Qaeda offshoot. Meanwhile, they collected intelligence and training Yemeni forces to battle the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
But the Obama administration limited its involvement with others in Yemen, and was largely removed from numerous tribal leaders and the rising rebel group known as the Houthis, according to former U.S. officials and foreign policy experts. The success of the White House’s involvement with Yemen relied largely on Mr. Hadi staying in power, they said, adding that the White House had few alternatives. That is why the U.S. approach was upended last month when Shiite-linked Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by Iran, seized control of Yemen’s capital and forced Mr. Hadi to flee. Forces loyal to Mr. Hadi are now warring against the Houthis, and U.S. officials believe, against his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Yemeni president has asked Gulf countries to intervene militarily against the Houthis as they advance toward his base in the southern city of Aden, according to Saudi media reports quoting Mr. Hadi’s foreign minister. Over the past few days, the Houthis have been advancing southward into the major southern city of Taiz, where they have encountered resistance and large street protests against them. Houthi gunmen fired live ammunition and tear gas on Monday into crowds of demonstrators in the city, wounding at least seven people. Meanwhile, militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State carried out dramatic suicide attacks in an area that had traditionally been the safe haven for rival AQAP, which some believe could trigger competitive jihadist attacks.
The Houthis had already taken over the airport and some government buildings in Taiz and erected checkpoints in the southern city when the violence flared, said local government officials and protest organizers, who reported the casualties.
[…]Before political chaos erupted earlier this year, the U.S. had everything invested in Mr. Hadi. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan was a key liaison to the country when he served as a top White House counterterrorism aide in the first years of the Obama administration. His replacement, Lisa Monaco, had kept in constant contact with Mr. Hadi since then.
In September, President Obama hailed Yemen as a success story in its counterterrorism approach, saying the country’s aggressive pursuit of terrorists would prevent the spread of Islamic State.
Look at the stupidity of Samantha Power:
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that all parties in Yemen should agree to U.N.-backed negotiations and “refrain from any further unilateral and offensive military actions.”
“We are supporting all the right [United Nations] resolutions, but most of the people in Yemen could care a flying fig for a U.N. resolution,” said Barbara Bodine, who was U.S. Ambassador to Yemen at the time of the USS Cole attack.
The Obama administration simply cannot take evil seriously – they keep thinking that everyone in the world is like them, and it’s killing our foreign policy. Obama keeps making promises that him and his party of amateurs and academics cannot keep.
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. If you like your IRS e-mails, you can keep your IRS e-mails. If you like your Tea Party charitable status, you can keep your Tea Party charitable status. If you like your Ukraine, you can keep your Ukraine. If you like your traditional marriage, you can keep your traditional marriage. If you like your State Department transparency, you can keep your State Department transparency. If you like your European missile defense, you can keep your European missile defense. If you like your 12 carrier strike groups, you can keep your 12 carrier strike groups. If you like your full-time work week, you can keep your full-time work week. If you like your health care for veterans, you can keep your health care for veterans. If you like your $8 trillion dollar debt, you can keep your $8 trillion dollar debt. If you like your coal plant, you can keep your coal plant. If you like your race relations, you can keep your race relations. If you like your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs, you can keep your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs. If you like your F-22 stealth fighter, you can keep your F-22 stealth fighter. If you like your Israel, you can keep your Israel.
We can fix the spending, we can fix the laws, we can fix the fraud, we can fix the corruption, we can repeal Obamacare… but the foreign policy blunders will be very, very hard to fix.