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News Link • Africa: On the Map

How ‘Benghazi’ Birthed the New Normal in Africa


"[U.S.] defense officials are looking to Washingtons alliance with Yemen, with its close intelligence cooperation and CIA drone strikes, as an example for dealing with Boko Haram."

In fact, as the latest news reports indicate, that "close" relationship is proving something less than a raging success. An escalating drone campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has resulted in numerous dead "militants," but also numerous dead Yemeni civilians – and a rising tide of resentment against Washington and possibly support for AQAP. As the Washington-Sana relationship ratchets up, meaning more U.S. boots on the ground, more CIA drones in the skies, and more attacks on AQAP, the results have been dismal indeed: only recently, the U.S. embassy in the countrys capital was temporarily closed to the public (for fear of attack), the insurgents launched a successful assault on soldiers guarding the presidential palace in the heart of that city, oil pipelines were bombed, electricity in various cities intermittently blacked out, and an incident, a claimed attempt to kidnap a CIA agent and a U.S. Special Operations commando from a Sana barbershop, resulted in two Yemeni deaths (and possibly rising local anger). In the meantime, AQAP seems ever more audacious and the country ever less stable. In other words, Washingtons vaunted Yemeni model has been effective so far – if you happen to belong to AQAP.

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