Drone War Escalation in Yemen Could Bring Blowback to the US
Critics of the Obama administration's decision to escalate drone strikes in Yemen say it could wind up strengthening Al Qaeda in the country and poison Yemeni opinion of the US.
Even as President Barack Obama touts his progress in extracting the U.S. from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his administration appears to be deepening its covert and military involvement in strife-torn Yemen.
Washington is worried about recent advances by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), particularly in the southern part of the country.
Since the failed "Christmas Day" bombing by an AQAP-trained Nigerian national of a U.S. airliner over Detroit in December 2009, the group has been regarded here as a greater threat to the U.S. homeland than its Pakistan-based parent.
Quoting senior officials, the Wall Street Journal and other major U.S. publications reported on Thursday that the administration has relaxed constraints on both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon in conducting drone strikes against suspected AQAP-affiliated militants in the Arab world's poorest nation.