An opinion piece from James Grundun, over at CounterPunch, which challenges the presence of a ‘secret’ drone base inside of Yemen, which is scheduled for completion in September. For Grundun, it is a ‘pillar of U.S. resistance against Yemen’s revolution’.
Speeding up the building process wasn’t a matter of adapting to security concerns but of overriding sovereignty. Throughout six months of peaceful protests, hundreds of civilian casualties and a government-induced humanitarian crisis, this one asset has overruled the Yemeni people’s support.
The drone paradox appears endless; Washington requires a base to hunt al-Qaeda operatives, when U.S. policy has boosted AQAP’s growth beyond what it would have obtained through its personal means. A base wouldn’t be necessary if America enjoyed the people’s support, but the administration opted to pump military equipment and economic aid into Saleh’s corrupt regime. U.S.-trained “counter-terrorism” units deployed against the Houthis, Southern Movement, tribal militias, revolutionaries and finally AQAP. When the revolution began, world powers labeled it a “political crisis” and summoned the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to negotiate a biased settlement for the regime. As protesters have refused to submit to foreign intervention, the past three months yielded a combination of U.S. air-strikes on AQAP units, anti-government tribesmen and civilians.
Half of Washington’s rationale involves Special Forces and CIA trainers currently active in Yemen; Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the CIA’s Special Activities Division are running white (training) and black (field) ops on the ground and aerial operations from Djibouti. A portion of these forces would presumably relocate to a concealed desert strip, revealing its full dimensions. The CIA’s base serves as Petraeus’s keystone to expanding Special Operations across the region, from the Persian Gulf to Somalia and all the waterways in between. Yet on the side of madness, any Yemeni believing that AQAP is enabled by Saleh would be frightened to know that, “the Obama administration is bolstering the CIA’s role in Yemen, seeking to replicate its pursuit of al-Qaeda in Pakistan.”
As if U.S. foreign policy is flourishing in Islamabad.