President Obama’s ‘successful’ counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo

President Obama’s ‘successful’ counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo

President Obama’s ‘successful’ counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo, Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio, January 24, 2015

If this is what a successful counterterrorism strategy looks like, we’d hate to see failure.

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When announcing the US strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama said he would model it after America’s counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and Yemen, “one that we have successfully pursued…for years.”

Immediately after Obama’s speech, we at The Long War Journal questioned the wisdom of describing Somalia and Yemen as “successfully pursued” counterterrorism operations. Al Qaeda’s official branches, Shabaab in Somalia and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, remain entrenched in their respective countries, despite some setbacks here and there. AQAP’s core leadership cadre is intact. And both al Qaeda branches continue to control territory while working to conduct attacks outside…

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