Thursday, June 9, 2011
President Barack Obama’s “most closely guarded secret”, is the fact that the US not only started a covert war in Yemen, but the conflict is intensifying now that Yemeni president Abdullah Ali Saleh fled the country after being wounded in a mortar attack on the Yemeni presidential palace on June 2.
Obama’s secret, fourth war receives little coverage in the mainstream media and even less in the Obama-friendly blogosphere as the American campaign accelerates amid violent and deadly conflicts in Yemen that has left the government struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops are supposedly battling militants linked to Al Qaeda south of the capital of Sana.
A senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity said on Wednesday that using force against militants in Yemen was further complicated by the fact that al-Qaeda operatives have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack without the appearance of picking sides.
The American campaign in Yemen is led by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, and is closely coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency. Teams of American military and intelligence operatives have a command post in Sana, the Yemeni capital, to track intelligence about militants in Yemen and plot future strikes.
Concerned that support for the campaign could wane if the government of Yemen’s authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were to fall, the United States ambassador in Yemen has met recently with leaders of the opposition, partly to make the case for continuing American operations.
America’s covert war in Yemen is among the Obama administration’s most closely guarded secrets, as officials are concerned that news of unilateral American operations could undermine Mr. Saleh’s tenuous grip on power.
The question begs, what will be Obama’s fifth war? Syria? Pakistan? Or, Iran?