The War in Yemen; 100+ Drone Strikes Since May 2011

Media reports of a drone strike in Yemen that killed ten civilians, including women and children, briefly brings the war in Yemen into focus


yea man
CIA Factbook

Media reports of a drone strike in Yemen that killed ten civilians, including women and children, briefly brings the war in Yemen into focus. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Chris Woods, who covers the U.S.'s evolving war on terror, explains:

When news flashed of an air strike on a vehicle in the Yemeni city of Radaa on Sunday afternoon, early claims that al-Qaida militants had died soon gave way to a more grisly reality.
At least 10 civilians had been killed, among them women and children. It was the worst loss of civilian life in Yemen's brutal internal war since May 2012. Somebody had messed up badly. But was the United States or Yemen responsible?

Local officials and eyewitnesses were clear enough. The Radaa attack was the work of a US drone – a common enough event. Since May 2011, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has recorded up to 116 US drone strikes in Yemen, part of a broader covert war aimed at crushing Islamist militants. But of those attacks, only 39 have been confirmed by officials as the work of the US.

The attribution of dozens of further possible drone attacks – and others reportedly involving US ships and conventional aircraft – remains unclear. Both the CIA and Pentagon are fighting dirty wars in Yemen, each with a separate arsenal and kill list. Little wonder that hundreds of deaths remain in a limbo of accountability.
With anger rising at the death of civilians in Radaa, Yemen's government stepped forward to take the blame. It claimed that its own air force had carried out the strike on moving vehicles after receiving "faulty intelligence". Yet the Yemeni air force is barely fit for purpose.
And why believe the Yemeni defence ministry anyway? Just 48 hours earlier it had made similar claims. But when it emerged that alleged al-Qaida bomber Khaled Musalem Batis had died in a strike, anonymous officials soon admitted that a US drone had carried out that killing.

There is a long history of senior Yemeni officials lying to protect Barack Obama's secret war on terror. When US cruise missiles decimated a tented village in December 2009, at least 41 civilians were butchered alongside a dozen alleged militants, as a parliamentary report later concluded.

As we now know, thanks to WikiLeaks, the US and Yemen sought to cover up the US role in that attack. We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours," President Saleh informed US Central Command (Centcom)'s General Petraeus.

Meanwhile, the hot war continues in Afghanistan while the president takes credit for presiding over an end to the war in Iraq he actually tried to postpone. The president's war powers letter to Congress in June noted military operations in both Yemen and Somalia, part of an expanding American presence in Africa. And of course there's the centerpiece of the president's drone war kill list campaign, Pakistan.

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  1. You know, critics of anarchy often cite “private armies” as a byproduct–an evil one–of such a status. I challenge such critics to explain to me how that is any worse than “Both the CIA and Pentagon are fighting dirty wars in Yemen, each with a separate arsenal and kill list”. Come on, assholes, tell me how. Tell me how these organizations are accountable to anyone. Come on, I’m waiting.

    1. They are accountable–to the drones. All hail the drones.

      1. i luv me sum killbots

      2. Wow, no responses from the usual suspects. COLOR ME SURPRISED.

        1. Wow, no responses from the usual suspects.

          That’s because you’re making a straw man argument.

          I don’t know who says what we have is preferable, only inevitable.

          1. So…you have no response. Color me surprised.

            1. You’re surprised that no one is defending an argument that no one is making?

              1. Seeing as “color me surprised” means the exact opposite of “surprised” because of sarcasm (funny you don’t get that considering your handle), I am both unsurprised you don’t understand what I’m talking about or that you have nothing to say about the subject. Go commiserate with your brother in arms, Tulpa.

                1. I am a (mild) critic of anarchy, but I can’t argue, since I don’t see “private armies” as an evil by-product of it. And no, they’re not substantially different than the Pentagon/CIA (except that they would be funded substantially less, and would have to be more efficient).

          1. You know, JJ, here I go thinking you’re going to make a Profondo Rosso reference, but no. What did Dario ever do to you?

            1. What did Dario ever do to you?

              I was not…unresponsive.

              1. A fried of mine knows Dario personally, and got a line on money Tarantino wanted to invest in a project. My friend tried to carefully get Dario to accept it as funding for Mother of Tears, but he had to be super careful to make sure no one knew where the money was coming from or they’d just cut him out and he’d lose the 5% finders fee. Anyway, Dario, being insane, tried to fuck him six ways from Sunday with each and every contract they drew up, and eventually the whole thing fell through because my friend’s lawyer wouldn’t accept a single contract from Dario because of the chicanery. Fun times.

                1. Well, he IS Italian. I don’t know what else you would expect from those people.

                  Actually bouncing around IMDB after that, I think I found my new favorite quote, from The Gore Gore Girls:

                  Lt. Anderson: Ah, face mutilated with a meat tenderizer, throat slit, and this one had her ass beat in.

                  1. Dude, it’s a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie. Enough said.

                    My friend also slept with Dario’s daughter, but not Asia. The other one, Fiore. (sad face)

                    By the way, Asia had a major nose job at some point; my friend has pictures from during the filming of Two Evil Eyes and Asia is in one of them as a kid, and her honker is enormous.

                    1. I had to go look up pics to confirm, but I agree with the nose job assessment.

                      Oh and anarchy will never work because homeless people who can’t afford to hire private security will just be murdered like it’s going out of style and no one will investigate, QED.

    2. I challenge such critics to explain to me how that is any worse than “Both the CIA and Pentagon are fighting dirty wars in Yemen

      Like sarcasmic said, no one is arguing that private armies are any worse.

  2. The War in Yemen; 100+ Drone Strikes Since May 2011

    I was hoping Ed would continue to rhyme
    while telling us about the administration’s crimes.

  3. Fucking David Wilson…

  4. Why can’t we just exit the Middle East and say, “Good-bye, and thanks for all the crazy?” What’s the compelling interest in us being constantly at war over there? Oil price stability? Really? It’s not like most of our oil comes from there–it doesn’t–and Europe can damned well deal with or not deal with the Middle East on its own. I’m sure we can handle whatever oil production shortfalls arise in the event of chaos over there.

    1. I believe the short answer is: Israel.

      1. They can manage without us directly intervening, and we can still keep them as a trading partner.

        1. Oh they can but no politician would dare suggest that they do so. Israel, for whatever reason, is a sacred cow in US politics

          1. If I were president, I’d meet with the Israelis, explain to them that we’ll keep doing business with them and give them some political support as the only liberal government in the region, but they’re on their own.

            Frankly, I’m not sure Israel wouldn’t appreciate a freer hand. We say no a whole lot to them, I’m sure.

      2. sorta but really its…

        …i luv me sum skywalking sky god in jerusalem fables

      3. And the slightly longer answer is:

        Israel and Saudi Arabia

    2. Because power comes from meddling, ProL. Fucking with other countries is how politicians express their true power.

      1. The problem is that there’s this idea embedded in foreign relations these days that someone has to keep the Middle East from blowing up. That someone is us, because no one else has the military power to do it. Europe, which would be the obvious choice, has practically demilitarized in favor of the U.S. military, so we’re it.

        We don’t have to be it, of course. We could repudiate the idea that constant interference is necessary. But it’s conventional wisdom, and that’s that.

        I’d almost rather we just conquered the entire region and be done with it. This screwing around is going to have long-term consequences, both over there and in setting really, really bad precedents. Much easier and more moral to just leave, of course.

        1. Silly ProL. Don’t you know that there are only two alternatives in the world of foreign relations: material support for the existing regime, or trying to overthrow the existing regime. Everything else is isolationism.

          1. I’m not really an isolationist, because I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle that quickly. However, we could stop this casual war crap.

            Maybe a new, hipper way of referring to an isolationist policy would help? Non-interventionism is a mouthful, after all. Aloofism?

            1. The non-try-hard foreign policy.

    3. “Oil price stability? Really? It’s not like most of our oil comes from there”

      Not to disagree with your case to stop the constant meddling in the Middle East, but…doesn’t really matter if most of our oil comes from there. Decreasing the supply of oil, not matter where it’s produced will raise price of oil.

      1. I understand that, but I think any price instability would be short-term, at the worst. They’re insanely dependent on oil production over there, and production could be increased in major oil producing countries like, I dunno, the United States, as well.

        1. “…and production could be increased in major oil producing countries like, I dunno, the United States, as well.”

          I think there are some people making this same point because of the problem in maintaining a consistent supply of energy. Like someone said, you can’t stick a windmill on top of your car and expect to move anywhere. I wouldn’t expect to see any administration tolerate the chance of a rogue nation on the border of a country like Saudi Arabia until that problem is eliminated.

      2. I’ll take higher-priced oil and lower taxes, thanks.

    4. Because we can’t put a few drill rigs in an arbitrary 19,000,000 acre chunk of Alaska, nor off the coast of anywhere, nor anywhere that anyone can see them, nor…

      1. We could if the shit hit the fan. Politically impossible isn’t actually impossible.

        1. Yeah, $6 gas and you’d probably see angry mobs with pitchforks going after polar bears and baby seals.

    5. Disrupting and destroying hostile organizations.

      1. Defined, of course, by the Executive and a secret council.

        Yay freedom.

  5. Maybe I’m in the slow class, but is anybody else out there flying drones over Yemen armed with missiles? I think it’s a fair bet that any drone strikes are the work of the US.

    Of course, I presume when they say drone strikes they have confirmed drone sightings. Max range on a Hellfire II is 8k, so you should, if you’re not distracted by the carnage that just erupted around you, be able to get a visual on the Predator or Reaper that just attacked.

    I also can’t help but think one of the reasons the Yemenis keep covering our ass about drone strikes is the Yemenis are using the drone strikes in their own internal struggles. They feed us a target and we blow it up because “terror!” and the Yemenis just took care of some troublemaker.

    1. Rent-A-Drone! The solution to our economic ills! Genius!

  6. Apple rejects app for tracking U.S. drone strikes

    Citing “objectionable content” of course. I wonder who would object?…..e-strikes/

  7. No flying cars yet but we do have giant flying killer robots. Progress.

    1. Our kids are too fat to fight anyway.

      1. That’s why I love Michelle Obama. She’s going to skinny them up.

  8. Seems like a pretty crazy plan to me dude. Wow.

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