In 1953, newly elected Dwight Eisenhower decided to arrange a truce with Chinese Communists in order to put the Korean War on hold. In 1954 when urged by the French government to intervene and save its trapped soldiers at Dienbienphu, the president politely informed the French, sorry, you are on your own. Shortly before his death, President Kennedy had made the decision to cease heavy American involvement in Vietnam. Fast forward to 2001 and President George Bush decided on an invasion of Afghanistan. One could argue the invasion made sense, but the aftermath is still with us. Instead of pushing for an honest, effective coalition government, and quickly training an Afghanistan army, Bush set his mind elsewhere on Iraq. Nine years have passed since the heady days of victory in Afghanistan and President Obama still has yet to develop a strategy of what to do. Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a warning to the president that Yemen lurks behind the corner. “If George Bush is remembered as the president who got America involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s looking like Obama wants to be remembered as the president who got America stuck in Yemen.”
The Zawahiri video is rhetoric, but, sometimes rhetoric can contain accurate descriptions of reality. Does Obama have any strategy in Yemen? Or, it is a replay of the catastrophe looming in Afghanistan?