Thursday, November 20, 2014

If you are interested in the situation in Yemen

If you are interested in the situation in Yemen, there's no better web resource than Jane Novak's Armies of Liberation.

Go see for yourself.

Oh, wait, why would people with an interest in maritime matters be interested in Yemen? Look where it sits. Red Sea, Bab el Mandeb chokepoint and the Gulf of Aden/Arabian Sea.

Not to mention its ownership of the islands of Socatra off Somalia.

See here:
Yemen’s control over one of the most important naval straits in the world, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, which is located between Yemen and the Horn of Africa, underscores this geostrategic importance. Commercial liners and oil tankers pass through the strait on their way to and from the Suez Canal. International stakeholders are concerned that al-Qaeda will take advantage of the current transitional conditions in Yemen to threaten shipping and international trade, contributing to the maritime piracy that is already blighting the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Just saying.

By the way, two of the successful maritime attacks for which al Qaeda claims credit were in Yemeni waters. See here for info on USS Cole attack in 2000. And here for info on the attack on the tanker MV Limburg.

You might note that Saudi elements were involved in the attack on MV Limburg. And, at the time of the Cole attack, Saudi Osama bin Laden was still a warm body.

Connected reading: See this U.S. House Armed Services Committee Staff report on USS Cole:
The engagement with Yemen was initiated with a clear understanding that Yemen was a sanctuary for terrorists.
Note that cuts in naval logistics forces placed the Cole in Aden:
Reductions in force structure have left the Navy with signifcantly dimished assets. The reduction in the number of oilers, combatants, and weapons available may have led to operational decisions that contributed to the U.S.S. Cole’s vulnerability.

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