“Critical Reasoning”: Yemen and the War on Terror
This paper will provide a brief description of Yemen, the global importance Yemen has in the War on Terror, and how the War on Terror affects the interests of the United States (U.S.) and the world. I will also discuss how the U.S. provides support to Yemen, what support is provided to other countries in the area by the U.S., and how the War on Terror is fought in Yemen by the U.S. and other countries in the world.
First, I will provide a brief background on the country of Yemen. According to The World Factbook (2014), Yemen is a country in the Middle East situated between Saudi Arabia and Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. It is also bordered by three bodies of water; the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Yemen’s capital city is Sanaa, situated on the western side of the country, with a population of 2.2 million (2009) which is about the size of Houston, Texas. Yemen’s climate varies from hot and humid along the west coast, temperate in the western mountains which are affected by seasonal monsoons, and extraordinarily hot, dry, and harsh desert in the east which consists of 95% of Yemen’s land mass. Yemen’s natural resources include petroleum, fish, rock salt, and marble. Yemen is a predominantly Arab country with Arabic as its official language. Muslim is the official religion with an estimated 65% Sunni and 35% Shia Muslim population. Yemen is a republic with an elected president of seven years. The president appoints the vice president and prime minister for the length of the president’s term. Yemen’s revenue mostly comes from its declining oil resources which has forced an economic reform program initiated in 2006 that is designed to bolster non-oil sectors of the economy and foreign investment which includes liquefied natural gas production. Yemen’s military forces are compromised of the Land Forces, Naval and Coastal Defense Forces (includes Marines), Air and Air Defense Force , Border Guards, and the Strategic Reserve Forces (2013) which all together consist of over 400,000 personnel. Yemen has the second largest military force on the Arabian Peninsula after Saudi Arabia.
Now I will discuss how Yemen is globally important to the War on Terror and how the U.S. provides support to Yemen. According to Zimmerman, K. (2012) American assistance programs aimed at helping Yemen build and maintain counterterrorism forces have not sufficed in the face of a real and growing insurgency and in the last two years, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been particularly focused on destabilizing the internationally backed interim Yemeni government, which the group perceives as a tool of Western and Gulf Arab power. The American strategy in Yemen relies on local Yemeni forces to defeat terrorists and the militias that support them. The challenge has historically been finding and eliminating AQAP leaders, since the group has held relatively isolated safe havens until recently. The advent...