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Articles of Interest Tagged Yemen

Preventing Yemen from Becoming Fallujah

November 2010 | Dr. W. Andrew Terrill

In the rapidly mutating world of international terrorist organizations, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has become one of the most serious threats facing the United States.  The recent AQAP attempt to use parcel bombs against U.S.-bound aircraft is only the most recent manifestation of this problem.   The Christmas 2009 attempted bombing of a U.S. passenger aircraft in Detroit by a Nigerian radical trained by Yemeni terrorists was an earlier warning to the United States about the dangers of neglecting events in this country.  Both of these near catastrophic episodes underscored the necessity for serious U.S. efforts to support all reasonable endeavors to defeat this organization with an informed, careful, and meticulous strategy based on a comprehensive understanding of Yemen and the terrorists.   This requirement may be especially clear when one considers the chain of events that could be set off if AQAP is eventually able to implement a spectacular terrorist event.  Apart from the human cost of such a tragedy, severe public pressure will undoubtedly exist for military intervention in Yemen with U.S. ground combat troops. Such an intervention would infuriate virtually the entire Yemeni population regardless of the objective merits of the U.S. case for the offensive use of U.S. ground combat forces.  It could lead to what al Qaeda refers to as a “bleeding war,” a struggle by the United States to pacify a hostile population which dissipates U.S. power in a hope to drive it from the region. Yemen could become like the Iraq city of Fallujah in 2004, a cauldron of radicalism and anti-American hate.  To head this off, AQAP’s capacity for spectacular terrorist strikes must correspondingly be ended soon while the organization itself must eventually be destroyed. (Continue reading...)