News / Middle East

US Yemen Anti-terror Strategy Debated

US Yemen Anti-terror Strategy Debatedi
August 09, 2013 12:24 AM
The U.S. has stepped up its drone strikes in Yemen, according to officials in Yemen. The strikes come after Yemeni authorities said they foiled an al-Qaida plot targeting Western facilities in the south of the country and the U.S. shuttered many of its diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa. Analysts, however, have mixed views on whether the current U.S. policy in Yemen is working. VOA's Pamela Dockins has more.
US Yemen Anti-terror Strategy Debated
Pamela Dockins
The U.S. has stepped up its drone strikes in Yemen, according to officials in Yemen. The strikes come after Yemeni authorities said they foiled an al-Qaida plot targeting Western facilities in the south of the country and the U.S. shuttered many of its diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa. Analysts, however, have mixed views on whether the current U.S. policy in Yemen is working.
The  U.S. has stepped up its drone strikes, targeting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemeni officials said.
Over the last two weeks, drone attacks have killed at least two dozen militants, according to news reports.
But some analysts say drone strikes may actually do more harm than good, especially when they result in civilian casualties.
Danya Greenfield is a Middle East expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.
"It sets in place a dynamic where people that may have inadvertently been targeted are part of tribes and local communities that then feel that they need to seek vengeance."
Greenfield says hostility toward the United States creates a breeding ground for militants in Yemen.
The most recent terror threat also prompted the U.S. to order non-essential diplomats out of Yemen.
President Barack Obama said although he had to take Americans out of harm's way, the administration will not back down.

"The United States is never going to retreat from the world. We don't get terrorized," said Obama.
Thomas Lynch, at National Defense University, supports the current U.S. policy in Yemen.
"I think the United States has developed a fairly effective program for dealing with the AQAP problem in Yemen. I think we prefer to work side-by-side, as we did in the summer of 2012, with Yemeni security forces.”
Lynch says the recent uptick in U.S. drone strikes does not necessarily indicate a shift away from U.S. support for Yemen's counter-terror operations.
“I do think we are at a moment right now though, where the United States is trying to re-focus its efforts and trying to make sure that places and pockets of activity by al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula are put under pressure so we diminish their capacity in the country and in the region,” said Lynch.
But Greenfield says it is up to the Yemeni government to develop a long-term strategy for combatting al-Qaida and other Yemeni militants.
"That really has to do with having strong government institutions that actually provide economic opportunity, that provide necessary services for its population and to have a legitimate government in place that is responsive to the population and to what people need,” says Greenfield.  
Although U.S. drone strikes may have weakened al-Qaida in Yemen, analysts say targeted assassinations will not be enough to cause the group's demise.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Remain Engaged in Afghan Peace Talks

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Daniel Feldman recently met with Pakistani and Afghan officials as talks were disrupted by news of Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: anotherview2 from: California
August 08, 2013 11:45 PM
Armed aerial drones use precision guided weapons that minimize collateral damage. Conventional weapons cause more such damage. In addition, the parents of children should do all they may to isolate their children from Islamic terrorists, to avoid putting their children in harm's way, given that armed aerial drones target Islamic terrorists. Further, the United States cannot let the nominal collateral damage from armed aerial drones deter it at all from their use. These drones kill enemy combats deserving of death.

Finally, consider that during WW II, the Allies firebombed major cities in Germany and Japan, killing thousands and thousands of civilians. The Allies did not overly concern themselves with the feelings or concerns of the targeted populations. The hostile actions of their own nations prompted the Allies in response to do what they could to vanquish the dangerous enemy. Nothing has changed. The West along with Russia now face a war to the death with the Islamic terrorists conducting an international jihad actively plotting to murder more innocents. The armed aerial drones find and kill these Islamic terrorists. Bring on the drones.

by: Fareed from: San Francisco
August 08, 2013 11:16 PM
Once someone earns their bones and gets promoted to the Terrorist List they have two options. Either be Killed or Captured. Most choose the first option. These suspects who know who they are, can turn themselves in, and if found innocent can be exonerated. This is no different than the armed and dangerous designation for domestic criminals and terrorists to be stopped dead or alive.

by: Vez'Roth from: North Carolina
August 08, 2013 5:11 PM
I have an issue with this report, that people are... Suspected Terrorists. No trial, no military investigation. They are "suspected" to be a terrorist. I can walk down the street and point at several random people and call them "suspected" terrorists. It doesn't make it true. The fact that they were were bombed without any kind of legal authority other than people bandying about the word "terrorist" like it's a blanket for doing whatever the @#&* we feel like.

I'm all for gunning down $%&* that actually DID something, but the fact that they only MIGHT have done something disturbs me greatly.
In Response

by: anotherview2 from: Californi
August 09, 2013 12:00 AM
The news report does not mention suspects. Find another issue.
In Response

by: anotherview2 from: California
August 08, 2013 11:51 PM
Man up to wartime, and a fight to the death with the Islamic terrorists. Meanwhile, who can say how the authorities identify an individual as a "suspected terrorist"? A citizen may suppose, however, that the authorities use facts and information, rational analysis, and sober conclusions before fingering a suspected Islamic terrorist for death. Bring on the drones.

by: Brian from: Ohio
August 08, 2013 5:01 PM
Are you sure these people were "terrorists?" Because several of the last drone strikes claimed to kill terror threats also killed many innocent Yemen civilians; or are they just "collartoral damage" for a greater cause as well? These actions make me sick.

by: Alexio from: Kansas
August 08, 2013 4:50 PM
Cause all suspects deserve death

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs