April 24, 2011

U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen?

The Yemeni news site Barakish.net has reported a drone strike in the southern Abyan governorate, where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has seized territory from security forces. Local sources claim two strikes occurred in Al-Mahfad district, one in Rafdh area and another in Thaika, and that an unexploded missile bore a label reading "Made in USA.” Propaganda is a definite possibility and other Yemeni sites aren't responding yet, so we will withhold commenting until reports are fleshed out.

We will warn that relaunching Predators, having been grounded in May 2010 after multiple errant strikes, would represent a colossal strategic error on Washington’s part. Unless AQAP chief Nasir al-Wuhayshi was riding in one of the targets, the political collateral of these strikes would vastly outweigh any military success.

Even then al-Wuhayshi will be replaced as quickly as he replaced AQAP’s previous heads.

America's image is approaching zero after Washington's counter-terrorism strategy collapsed, forcing the White House to stall for Saleh and possibly rescue him. The mere thought of drones could provide the final blow - this isn't the way to wage fourth-generation warfare.

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