US Finally Gets It: Yemen Not to Become Another Afghanistan

Posted on December 30, 2009


We recognise that it is an adaptive organisation that has shown tremendous flexibility and agility, so we need to maintain that pressure. It has been damaged over the past several years but still retains the capability to carry out attacks. [FT.com]

The above assessment of al-Qaeda was voiced by President Obama’s top counter terrorism advisor (former advisor to George Bush), John Brennan, December 28. The qualities he so succinctly attributed to al-Qaeda are qualities I have assigned to them that date back to the West’s  first encounter with them (and one they have never forgotten) during the Crusades.

While he was referring to our involvement in Pakistan, unless it means more boots on the ground there, the extent of our operations in that troubled country possibly could serve as a model for our current and future operations in Yemen and elsewhere. He is convinced that we need to limit or counter measures against al-Qaeda as they spread their activities across the globe.  [FT.com]  In short, we need to become as flexible and as agile as our enemy.  Would that the Crusaders had entertained that thought!

Europe will not tolerate opening up another front and it is not expected that we will do so. To date, we are agreed that ensuring that economic conditions stabilize to create a bulwark against insurgents and terrorists comes first.

The next few weeks are almost certain to see European Union governments pressing the US to take a different tack: focusing on trying to boost the economic and political conditions in Yemen in order to ensure that it does not become a breeding ground for jihadism [FT.com]

The US and others have been concerned about unrest in Yemen for some time. For the US, our interest piqued in August when General Petraeus made a visit to that nation’s head of state. But long before this visit, interrogation of the Yemenis at GITMO would have convinced our military of al-Qaeda’s infiltration of that oil-rich state.

al-Qaeda’s December 25th attempt to bring down one of our aircraft came at the next busiest travel time after Thanksgiving and within the time frame of a Christian Holiday. This is a period when Western countries have traditionally been on high alert. That their bomber broke through more than one barrier is VERY dangerous. The President is quite rightly mad.

al-Qaeda knew their bomber was not as well-trained as he might have but there is this sense that, like their dry runs through the airport in Amsterdam testing systems, this was a throwaway situation.  If it worked, fine; if it didn’t work, well, not a big loss.  al-Qaeda is wise enough to compartmentalize its organization and low rung members knowledge of it.  He was just another device.  Their main point has been forcefully made.

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HotAir – Ron Paul on the airline plot: “They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers!”

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