On September 10, President Obama addressed the nation on his plans to “downgrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. What had begun just weeks earlier as a humanitarian rescue mission to save a religious minority in Iraq purportedly threatened by ISIS had crept into a full-fledged US war against ISIS in Iraq.
At the time, the president outlined his four-part strategy to achieve his goal of eliminating ISIS, which included airstrikes, support for forces on the ground, counterterrorism operations against ISIS, and continued humanitarian assistance. A broad international coalition would soon join the fight, sharing the burden with the US, he promised.
The president emphasized that this strategy had already been proven successful, explaining that:
This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Yemen was the model for a successful US fight against terrorism, the president asserted.
Today we read that the US State Department is making evacuation plans for its embassy in Yemen’s capitol, Sana’a, amid increasing violence between the US-backed government and Houthi rebels who seek to overthrow it.
Should the planned evacuation take place, it will follow the US evacuation of its embassy in another of intervention’s “success stories,” Libya, in July.
Considering intervention’s other “success stories” in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and so on, one wonders just what failure would look like?
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4:33 pm on November 11, 2014