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How Will the Yemeni Civil War End?
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The Civil War in Yemen is rapidly expanding. We have been forced to close our embassy and military base located there. It is now clear that Obama’s optimism for fighting terrorism in Yemen was misplaced. It hardly sets a standard for dealing with constant conflict and chaos throughout the Middle East. It now looks like the two major participants in this war are Iran and Saudi Arabia. In this region there has been competition between these two nations for hundreds if not thousands of years. The conflict ongoing in Yemen relates to the age-old conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. It also reflects the contest over who will control the oil in this region. Not only is there a conflict between the Shia of Iran versus the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia, there has been long-term animosity between Arabs and Persians.

Now there are essentially three factions fighting for the control of Yemen. Our support for president Hadi has failed and he is essentially out of power although still involved in the conflict. Former president Saleh, who remains a powerful force in Yemen, is taking advantage of the chaos in his desire to return to power. So far the various factions that we have supported over the years have been poor choices, as usual. Today the, Houthis, supported by Iran, seem to be the ones who have gained the upper hand. However there’s no sign that this civil war will soon end or without major ramifications throughout the Middle East and maybe even beyond.

This turn of events will not make the neoconservatives happy, nor will this go unnoticed by the Saudis. It seems that al-Qaeda has gained the grassroots support from a large number of Yemeni citizens. Currently the chaos in the three-way battle for control of Yemen will guarantee that even though we have been literally run out of Yemen, our interests will remain. Being “allies” of sorts with the Iranians in Iraq will not carry over to the US sympathizing with the Iranian growing influence in in Yemen.

The Iranian supported rebels, who have gained the upper hand, have been blessed with $500 million worth of weaponry that we left behind in our rapid retreat. This is obviously not a new development considering the fact it’s getting to be commonplace and happening wherever we go. This is of course the very same situation that occurred in Syria and Iraq when the troops that we supported dissipated once they encountered military opposition. One thing is for certain: the military-industrial complex will not suffer and more weapons will flow into the region.

Hopefully someday our government officials will wake up. The counterinsurgency doctrine that was supposed to be the answer to all our military shortcomings is a total failure. This idea that we can run an Empire with military threats, missiles, and economic sanctions is a fallacy. A goal of military intimidation without the military troops necessary to maintain control of country we occupy, never works. The policy itself is foolish even if we did send our troops, because we are seen as the outsiders, coming from 6000 miles away, getting involved in internal affairs and civil strife and border disputes and religious wars that is highly resented by the citizens of the countries involved.

Though we have left Yemen, to a large degree we will not go far. Our CIA will remain. The drone missiles will continue. Financing different factions will probably accelerate. We can be certain that our government, whether run by Republicans or Democrats, will be prepared to use military force once it’s decided it’s necessary to restrain Iran and protect Saudi oil.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Yemen 
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  1. Renoman says:

    It sounds simple, the US government buys weapons, takes them to places of “instability” and “looses them”so the government buys more weapons. It’s a scam! I mean who leaves $500 million dollars laying around? The British would have had that stuff outa there weeks before this happened.
    It’s either a scam or supreme incompetence, either way it is terribly embarrassing.
    Once again the Muslims are killing the Muslims and we don’t need to be there, what a deal.

  2. Killing with ever greater destructiveness and scope, thanks to our weaponizing all sides.

  3. Max Payne says:

    You know when I was in the middle east during the late 80s Shias and Sunnis worked side by side in Kuwait with no issues what-so-ever (Indian expatriates were also treated much better than they were today….). People got along, communities were pretty interconnected.

    When I went back to the region recently most arabs I talked to (mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt) didn’t have a problem with Iran. On the contrary many see Iran as the only possible hope of liberation from Western-driven governments and monarchies. The only Sunnis that have any issues with Shia-Iran is basically the royal families….

    I believe the Sunni-Shia “divide” is another one of those propagated Western issues, like the Dutch with the Tutsi and Hutus in Rwanda (wasn’t an issue until it was propagated as one).

    ISIL is an anomaly that MOST arabs believe is a Western intelligence-operated unit. I remember a cartoon in a newspaper perhaps 5-6 months in Amman showing an ISIL checkpoint in three panels.

    Panel 1: ISIL members killing a Shia
    Panel 2: ISIL members killing a Sunni
    Panel 3: ISIL letting an Israeli go through unmolested.

    So when people say Sunnis and Shias have always hated each other….I think they need to rephrase and say “Sunni MONARCHIES hate Shias, generally however day-to-day Sunnis don’t care”

  4. Jim says:

    When Iran and Iraqi fought we, the USA, did not seem to fully take a side. Though there was bloodshed we were more focused on our economy. Globally the USA is getting involved more in the Middle Eastern politics, with few Americans fully understanding the diversity of these politics. I sense that Ron Paul has a hands off approach to Yemen, but he himself does not fully understand the problem. Maybe this hands off approach is the best approach for those that are not involved to have. Let’s watch the area unfold and in time form diplomatic ties with the victors. We can do this as we guard international waters.

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