When Speculation Becomes Reality

Several months ago I wrote a post speculating on possible policy responses for the United States if Al Qaeda lodged itself into Yemen’s insurgency. In an attempt to instigate discussion on the matter (a goal that appears to have failed), the post included the following questions:

If a terror network were to establish itself in a developing country that lacked the resources to destroy the terrorists, what policy options would American statesmen have at their disposal? Would we be able to perform counterterrorism operations with thousand of American troops still engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan?

It seems that my queries are now a bit outdated. From CBS News:

U.S. Leading Assaults on al Qaeda in Yemen
Kimberly Dozier. CBS News. 2 January 2009.

Recent combined air and ground assaults against al Qaeda in Yemen last month were American-led, according to a U.S. special operations expert who trains Yemeni forces.

“It was cruise missile strikes in combination with military units on the ground,” Sebastian Gorka, an instructor at the U.S. Special Operation’s Command’s Joint Special Operations University, told CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier.”It was a very distinct signal from the Obama administration that they are serious in assisting Yemen to remove these al Qaeda facilities from its soil.

U.S. officials had kept fairly quiet about the extent of American involvement in the recent Yemeni strikes. But with so many Americans asking what their government is doing to keep them safe after the Christmas Day bombing attempt, many more officials seem eager to describe how they’re striking back.

I wrote my original post to begin a discussion about America’s role in potential terrorist havens such as Yemen. It was a discussion no one seemed to be having, despite its clear importance. This was back when commentary on U.S. operations in Yemen was a matter of speculation; now it is a matter of fact. The level of commentary, however, has barely changed. It is most curious really. Discussion of America’s role in Yemen’s internal affairs is still nonexistent as far as the broader public is concerned.

But perhaps I should not assume Americans give a whit about where or how their fellow countrymen are dying anymore.

H/T to War News Updates for the item quoted above.

Leave a Comment

No Comments Yet