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Guest Thinkers

Monday Papers: English edition

Given all the news stories about Yemen being published – some very good and others not so good – I thought it would be helpful to give a brief run down.

First up (only through my Google news search) is this Reuters article that quotes Senator Lieberman, warning about the future of Yemen and the possibility of “tomorrow’s war.”

For the record, I think the idea of invading Yemen or anything along those lines is absolutely crazy. (Full disclosure: in preparation for Senators Lieberman and McCain’s trip to Yemen in August I exchanged e-mails with members of their respective staffs.)

Here is the money quote:

Lieberman, who recently visited Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, said a U.S. government official there told him that “Iraq was yesterday’s war. Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.”

Next, up is this interview between Radio Free Europe and Mustapha Alani. I was on a Yemen panel with Alani a couple of weeks ago and was shocked to hear him say that there were only fifty al-Qaeda operatives in the country. This is, in my opinion, a gross and mistaken view of the situation. (Particularly if one believes that Yemen killed and arrested 51 AQ members in the Dec. 17 raids.) But Alani repeats the same thing here – never mind that the evidence doesn’t support this. There have nearly been 50 different authors in Sada alMalahim.

Obviously, I strongly disagree with Alani’s characterization of the situation in Yemen. (As I did with his characterization of the Huthi conflict and the threat of secession from the south – we, it seems, agree on little.)

There is also this article from the Wall Street Journal that gives a good overview of the situation in Yemen.

CNN’s Barbara Starr has this report.

The Washington Post has this very informative report that argues, as I have been doing for quite some time, that one has to date the recent incarnation of al-Qaeda in Yemen to the February 2006 prison break. (For those looking for my own take on AQAP – I would recommend my talk at the Carnegie Endowment from July 2009.)

I will attempt to give an overview of the Arabic press later today – particularly focused on a very detailed report from Mareb Press that lists a number of names from AQ members killed during the December 17 raid.


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