The U.S. government should beware of being drawn into the conflict in Yemen.
The fight among Shiite Houthi militia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the government of Yemen are part of a wider Middle East conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
That religious conflict is overlaid with a conflict between two alliances of Middle East powers—Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Shiite militias on the one hand, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, the Sunni militias in Iraq and Syria and Turkey, with Israel as a silent partner, on the other.
Washington sides with Saudi Arabia and Israel. I have come to realize that sanctions against Iran were never about the imaginary danger of nuclear weapons, but to keep Iran weak. Now Iran has found an ally in Putin’s Russia.
This is a highly dangerous situation. National governments are keeping the religious wars going by sending arms and money to the different religious factions. But religious wars are not controllable. Being drawn in to these wars serves no national interest of the United States, does not benefit the people of the region and puts the American people at risk of being drawn into a wider war.
The USA has had a strange relationship with Iran during the past 35 years. While waging economic war against Iran, the U.S. government strengthened Iran’s position by defeating its main enemies, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. A defeat of ISIS would further strengthen Iran.
By agreeing to end sanctions, the Obama administration appeared to accept Iran as a major power in the Middle East. Now Obama is sending warships to checkmate Iranian power.
I’m by no means an expert on the religious and cultural geography of the Middle East, but I don’t see this ending well.
A Dangerous Escalation of the U.S. Role in the War on Yemen by Daniel Larison for The American Conservative.
Our Bad Friends, the Saudis by Kelly Vlahos for The American Conservative.
The War Nerd: A Brief History of the Yemen Clusterf**k by Gary Brecher for PandoDaily.
Deconstructing Obama’s Yemeni intervention by M.K. Bradrahumar for Asia Times. [Added later] The writer wonders why the U.S. has no plan to evacuate the thousands of American citizens (mostly Arab-American Muslims) now in Yemen.
Are We in Yemen to Protect the Interests of the Bin Laden Family? by Joseph Cannon for Cannonfire. [Added 4/22/2015]
What Is the Purpose of This U.S. Fleet Concentration Next to Iran? by Moon of Alabama. [Added 4/22/2015]