Thursday, June 09, 2011

And Yet Another War

Iraq. Afghanistan/Pakistan. Libya. Yemen.


Yes. Yemen. We are sending drones and bombing sites in Yemen according to the New York Times.

The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power. ...

The extent of America’s war in Yemen has been among the Obama administration’s most closely guarded secrets, as officials worried that news of unilateral American operations could undermine Mr. Saleh’s tenuous grip on power. Mr. Saleh authorized American missions in Yemen in 2009, but placed limits on their scope and has said publicly that all military operations had been conducted by his own troops.

Run jointly by the Pentagon and the CIA, this secret war isn't so secret anymore. We've been bombing parts of Yemen to weaken Al Qaeda elements there for years, presumably throughout President Obama's first term and probably during President Bush's tenure. And, like our drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we've been hitting innocent civilians as well as the pesky evil-doers, on the taxpayers' dime but without our knowledge and without explicit Senate approval.

Now, with our "ally," Mr. Saleh, another Middle East tyrant about to be deposed and healing from wounds in Saudi Arabia, all restrictions on when and where those strikes take place appear to have disappeared. The action is ramping up.

That AUMF passed by the Senate more than nine years ago certainly has come in handy, eh?

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