I am debating a broader post on Yemen this weekend but I really do have to vent some of the exhaust from the right-wing nut types and assorted other FP simpletons of the entire political spectrum.
Given the recent events in Yemen folks have been quick to point out President Obamas recent comment (9/14) that Yemen embodied a success story. The actual quote and context about Yemen looks like this:
This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out [the Islamic State] 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.
The topic du jour was about ramping up action specifically against ISIL and was trying to use the anti-Al Qaeda actions in Yemen as an example.
The US drone war in Yemen has been successful depending on the metric you use. Indeed we have killed many people who were in direct and active opposition to our goals and policies in the region. Early engagements had a demonstrable impact on AQ membership rolls. So the drone war and the overall anti-terrorist program has had many successes but has also likely played a role in assuring Yemen’s potentially inevitable time line is playing out.
Bottom line valley viewpoint is this. Obama was correct in asserting Yemen as an example of success for fighting terrorists and since that was the extent of the context of his statement he wasn’t wrong. If people want to bash Obama or any other Oval occupant on issues in the Middle East they would do far better maintaining a focus on feverishly flawed foreign policy the USA has refused to reevaluate.