Obama’s War of Choice: the Saudi-led Air War in Yemen

Jan 2016
1984, all over again
by Micah Zenko

"Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States is primarily as a source of cash for weapons. Since October 2010 alone, the Obama administration has agreed to sell $90.4 billion in weapons to the Gulf kingdom, according to the Congressional Research Service. That President Obama would so enthusiastically endorse arming such a brutal authoritarian government is unsurprising, since the United States is by far the leading arms dealer (with 47 percent of the world total) to what an annual State Department report classifies as the world’s “least democratically governed states”—those in the lowest quintile based upon Freedom House’s “political rights” ranking and the World Bank’s “voice and accountability” score.


"Thus, the flow of weapons and contractor support sustaining the GCC intervention has not merely continued, but the Pentagon has actually sped-up preexisting orders to assure there are sufficient bombs to drop on Yemen. Two weeks into the U.S. involvement, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken proclaimed while in Riyadh that, "Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message to the Houthis and their allies….As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing.” In total, the State Department has authorized $8.4 billion in foreign military sales to GCC countries since the start of the air war, $7.8 billion to the Saudis alone.

What is disturbing about such comments is that the Obama administration is establishing a troubling precedent, whereby it has no obligations for military operations conducted by other countries for which the United States is playing an essential, enabling role. U.S. officials keep “calling on all sides” to end hostilities without recognizing that the United States itself is one of these sides. Though Congress and the media appropriately monitor and evaluate uses of force when conducted by U.S. armed forces, citizens should be equally concerned and vigilant about operations for which U.S. logistical, intelligence, and weapons support are instrumental, such as intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, and air refueling to the French forces in Mali, GPS-guidance kits to the Colombian government to help fight insurgents, and drone surveillance for Turkish fighter jets bombing northern Iraq. These types of military operations, with the United States providing a crucial supporting role to partner militaries, will become far more common into the future.”



U.S. supplied contract soldiers as well ... :mgun:​


Private Military Contractors take the fight to Yemen

"Under a USD-3-billion contract between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and DynCorp, contractors from the company are to be deployed to Yemen, where UAE forces are fighting against the Houthi rebels on Saudi orders, Khabar News Agency quoted an official with Yemeni Defense Ministry as saying.

DynCorp is a rival of Academi, which hires contractors and sends them to fight in foreign countries on paid missions.

Academi had decided to withdraw from Bab-el-Mandeb region after the Yemeni forces inflicted heavy losses on them. The UAE was forced to bring in the new mercenaries from DynCorp for the same reason."

Private Military Contractors take the fight to Yeman - MSA


Should Pres. Trump have continued support for this war ???

What National Security interest and/or strategic purpose does it serve ???

Is the war in Yemen a simple case of the U.S. helping the Saudi monarchy oppress an impoverished neighbor, so they become subjugated w/ high tech U.S. weaponry ???

Does Yemen have big oil fields / other natural resources ?

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