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IPFS News Link • Yemen


•, by Larry Johnson

You know how it is, Iranians, Yemenis, they all look alike. While the bombs are causing some damage in Yemen, Yemen has seen it before and is unfazed. In fact, the bombing appears to be strengthening the resolve of Yemen to continue its blockade of the Red Sea.

The United States does not have enough bombs to force Yemen to surrender. Why? Yemen's rocket and missile force is mobile. They can move dozens of missiles at the same time in different directions, which then forces the United States, notwithstanding robust ISR, to find the needles in the haystack that is Yemen. The U.S. can kill and destroy some, but not all.

But that is not the big problem. The U.S. Navy does not have the ability to sustain its presence off the coast of Yemen. My friend, Stephen Bryen, has written his usual excellent article detailing the problem:

The first answer relates to the number of missiles aboard a ship. US ships are relying on SM-2 missiles, part of the AEGIS system. One expert estimates the number available as follows:

"The [AEGIS] destroyers have a complement of 96 VLS cells, while the [Ticonderoga class] cruisers have 122. …However, they need to fit a mixture of weaponry in those cells so they can't all be used for air defense. This includes:

ESSM (quad packed into a single cell)

SM-2 (and its newer counterpart the SM-6)

Tomahawk cruise missiles

ASROC anti-submarine missile

SM-3 anti-ballistic missile