The Saudi-led military incursion into Yemen signals a major shift in Saudi policy toward the region, one more suited for a post-American phase, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Perceiving that they are unable to reliably depend upon support from the United States, Saudi Arabia is adopting a more independent and aggressive policy to ensure its security.
The Houthi movement’s rapid ascent has created opportunities for al-Qaeda to expand and intensified the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, adding a sectarian dimension to Yemen’s turbulence, says expert April Longley Alley.
"Washington does not have a Yemen policy, much less a progressive vision for the country. Instead, American policies in the Peninsula privilege the permanence and prosperity of the GCC monarchies, notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations have regarded Yemen as a real place with real politics."
Charles Berger argues that the United States should fund the establishment of a permanent terrorist rehabilitation institution in Yemen, providing a critical counterterrorism partner with a needed strategic capability to counter al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and forming the cornerstone of a strengthened intelligence-sharing relationship.
"Should the United States continue targeted killings in Yemen without addressing the consequences of killing civilians and taking responsibility for unlawful deaths, it risks further angering many Yemenis and handing another recruiting card to AQAP."
The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.
U.S. drone strike policies undermine the nation's foreign policy objectives and have resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent civilian lives, according to a report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko from the Center for Preventive Action. Zenko calls for greater oversight of U.S. drone strikes from the Obama administration, Congress, and the international community.
Today, al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) is at a crossroads. Does it revert to what it was prior to 2011, a terrorist organization operating in the shadows? Or does it try to reclaim the territory it lost and once again position itself as a governing authority?
Targeted killings have become a central component of U.S. counterterrorism operations around the globe. Despite pointed criticism over transparency and accountability issues, analysts say the controversial practice seems likely to expand in the future.
There is only one name on next week's presidential ballot paper, but most Yemenis view the rubber-stamp vote as a necessary first step in ending the Saleh era. Hugh Naylor and Hakim Almasmari, foreign correspondents, report.
Despite President Saleh's signing of a power-transfer agreement, the threat of civil war is growing, write Tom Finn and Atiaf al-Wazir, noting that renewed violence between the north and south would be problematic for Western interests and could make more room for militant groups.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has emerged as one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda affiliates, strengthening amid political unrest in Yemen. This Backgrounder examines the group and U.S. counterterrorism operations.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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