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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Entanglement in Yemen and the Logic of War

Entanglement in Yemen and the Logic of War

by Paul R. Pillar
We are seeing today in Yemen a demonstration of how easily a supposedly limited U.S. involvement in an armed conflict becomes less limited, and how such involvement creates new enemies of the United States.
The deleterious entanglement of the United States in civil war in Yemen was already a major problem even before the events of the past week. The United States has associated itself with, and been providing indirect support to, the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. That intervention, especially through largely indiscriminate aerial bombardment, has been responsible for most of the severe civilian suffering in Yemen. Since the Saudi air assault began last year, civilian casualties have been averaging 13 per day. Total civilian deaths in the war are approaching 4,000, with many more injured and still more homeless. The Saudi role in causing most of this damage and the U.S. role in facilitating it certainly undercut any criticism by those governments of Russia’s role in causing civilian suffering in Syria.

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