Food Insecurity and Terrorist Attacks
The state representatives have proclaimed that the Yemen National Dialogue Conference legislature managed to finish their objective. However, there has been great concern regarding the creation of a proper and effective foundation for the State of Yemen in terms of political instability, insecurity, and general political reconciliations, especially in certain regions such as the southern restive region. Target murders have become a means of alternative weapons for all radicals, and despite their associations and inspirations, certainty has become ever foggier. Attacks in Yemen have become so frequent and this situation is deteriorating the stability and security of the country.
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In the past months, the insecurity and instability in Yemen have highly gone up, and it was heightened last December during the Dhale tragedy and the southern region’s explosions of violence. Researchers have given warnings that greater strategies will be created and developed by al-Qaeda; this requires proper risk contemplation while evaluating risks that need assessment. Yemen is referred to be among the poorest states in the Arabian Peninsula; the country has only had 2 years of political evolution.
In addition, Yemen continues to suffer from serious levels of poverty and food insecurity despite efforts by the government to work hard in trying to get over the poor economy of the country and also try to work through the increasing rate of unemployment. All these poverty levels and unemployment rates are brought about by the high level of insecurity due to war and conflict that has been going on in Yemen. The war is said to be mostly influenced and caused by terrorists though it has not been fully claimed that it is purely the work of terrorists only.
With slight to no vision, mounting political unsteadiness, and extensive insecurity, a large number of Yemenis silently scuffle with the certainties of miserable poverty, starvation, poor health, and hopelessness. Still, the state remains in a poor state of health despite reports from the World Food Program (WFP) stating that there was a small development in a comparison between 2011 and 2012. Indeed, the WFP recognized in December 2012 that forty-five percent of families obtained food on credit, an addition of twelve points ever since December 2011.
Families have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets since the state has gone down economically; this has also highly affected their finances in the long run, thus threatening their bid to achieve basic needs. This trend has seen economists claiming that it should be taken very seriously since it will result in unrest if it is further allowed to continue. WFP wrote a report in 2013 of February claiming that the situation of food security in 2013 was worse compared to that of 2012 and this was said to be due to poor projections for production of agriculture locally.
United States Perspective
Yemen has had a great advantage towards aid from United States. Over the past years, the country is estimated to have received $20 to $25 million yearly. In the year 2009, the administration increased the amount of aid up to $28.2million, since it was claimed that Yemen was doing badly economically and highly needed the aid. Yemen aid continues to go up as years pass since the United States’ major objective to the country is to reduce levels of poverty and assist in instilling stability and security.
Since Yemen is bogged down with insecurity, there is a department in the United States known as section 1206 that has been created and developed to provide supplies and equipment, which for training military forces in Yemen, who will then enhance chances of reducing insecurity, especially in relation to counter-terrorism unit. The major beneficiaries of section 1206 are the Yemeni Ministry of Defense, Yemeni Army 11th Brigade, and Yemen Special Operations Forces (YSOF).
All these provisions provided by section 1206 are given by the United States with the aim of combating insecurity and stabilizing the economy of Yemen. The monetary aid from the United States is aimed at giving full maintenance to a democratic system and programming governance. The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has led plans in Yemen’s remote region to hold up conflict declaration strategies planned to stop vengeance killings among clans.
The United States is willing to assist Yemen’s military since it views policies of counterterrorism in the country as inadequate. In addition, the US claims that Yemen has poor and weak laws of counterterrorism and that is why it has not been able to carry out any successful attacks so far. The United States, therefore, feels it will be adequate to improve and enhance the training of military of Yemen together with their counterterrorism units so as to improve future security.
Three Policy Options the USA Could Pursue to Facilitate Stability and Security
In order for the United States to defeat AQAP and other terrorist groups in Yemen, an all-inclusive primary objective strategy should be developed and implemented. Recently, United States has been concentrating more on areas that have not been helping a lot to solve the security matters in the Yemen. It has concentrated more on direct actions to target these military groups and also the country’s political drams.
These approaches have not succeeded before, though direct action has been termed more efficient and productive since they assisted in disrupting various networks. However, this threat is said to have helped in reducing the effect of terrorist pause over the United States through on a short term basis. They hinder the United States’ ability to grow on a long term basis and this proves that the strategy cannot solve a major issue.
It is not yet clear whether the strategies that the United States is setting towards Yemen will still be successful after its previous operations. Tools for the previous strategy have been poorly rated despite the growth of challenges and threats in Yemen. This has however demanded an important reassessment of strategies that the US used in its previous activities in Yemen, as they failed to be effective in producing a positive outcome.
However, so far, the re-evaluation is not yet witnessed and things are getting worse in Yemen, especially in terms of food security, unemployment, and vengeance killings. Since the administration of Obama took power, there has been no claimed shift towards the United States’ strategy to Yemen and this is since the eruption of Arab Spring. It is also very clear that the general outlines of the United States have not been altered.
Mitigation of Yemen’s Political, Economic and governance issues
Yemen is so far termed as one of the poorest countries worldwide. This is despite the fact that the US has been trying to enhance stability, especially in economic, political, governance, and security platforms; however, intensive efforts should be directed towards helping the government defeat terrorists in the land. This strategy has however been challenged before due to the control of Saleh in his state and because of the will to put greater concentration and strength in the war against AQAP. The crumple of the safety condition in Yemen resulted in pulling out of some of the major mechanisms of this approach that had provided American policy some achievement ahead of Sana’a.
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Conflicts that are still taking place in Yemen are making the country remain among the poorest on earth. Evidently, the government has been unable to provide adequate resources and amenities such as water and electricity to its citizens in order to meet their basic needs. There is a 40% unemployment rate while the estimation of abject poverty in Yemen is rated at 54%. According to various researchers, it is said that about ten million individuals, who take half of the population, in Yemen spend their nights on empty stomachs every night; and in every ten children, one child does not reach the age of five.
These are major issues that the United States should be prioritizing by establishing major policies to assist Yemenis in stabilizing the economy and governance in Yemen. More aid needs to be acquired and this can highly be influenced by immediate publicity of Yemen’s situation to the world. The world needs to know the situations and strategies for seeking assistance from various programs; institutions and bodies need to be developed.
With the help of the US and other major global institutions, Yemen would be in a better position to experience development; however, strategies should target the core sectors of the economy including health, education, and agriculture, which have a higher chance of transforming lives of people. The USAID is among the bodies that encourage and help in enhancement concerns in the humanitarian and development of the economy in Yemen. However, due to insecurity, many programs assisting the United States to improve on the situation in Yemen have been terminated.
Funding and Training Yemen’s Military
During conflicts and war in Yemen, it is obvious to the whole world that the Yemeni military has not been doing so well. The US Government needs to concentrate on helping Yemen in the training and funding of the military in order to stabilize security in the society. Indeed, the US realizes that Yemen does not have adequate resources to equip its military technically and logistically, making it vulnerable to any insurgence.
The military in Yemen has highly been degraded due to its previous conflicts, especially the Sa’ad wars; it is during this time that many fissures were discovered. There is also a lot of distrust, which has erupted within the military units in Yemen due to competition among individuals who are seen to be more powerful, and these vices have contributed to defeat by the enemy. A good example of such distrust erupted in 2011 when the most considered powerful General Ali Mohsen was being opposed by Commander Ahmed who was the son of the president.
The counter-terrorism group of America through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program has been a key player in empowering security forces in Yemen including the military and Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU); it mainly offers financial and equipment support for training. The Defense Department in the United States has also significantly promoted the fight against terrorism in Yemen by providing the Yemeni Air Force with aircraft for transportation of troops and training special units; it has also fitted night-vision cameras in the Yemeni’s military helicopters and provided body armor. Nevertheless, if more assistance is facilitated, then it is very clear that the Yemeni’s Coast Guard abilities will be highly lifted and enhanced.
At some point in 2011, the training program of Yemeni’s military by the American military was banned because of reasons of security. The United States, however, should facilitate and put more effort into this training and create the newest strategies, since the earlier strategy did not turn out so successful. Although direct actions of training resumed in 2011, they should be more advanced in order to ensure that they are highly efficient and effective.
These training that the American military is carrying out with the Yemeni’s military are currently intended to win a war against the al Qaeda high-value targets. All in all, the American Military should concentrate on attaining a great deal of visibility and leverage on the military of Yemen without any suspension of the main fundamentals of military cooperation.
Effective Implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Agreement
Gulf Cooperation Council Agreement was created in Yemen by the United States’ government in order to assist in reducing conflicts and developing stability in Yemen. The US governments are therefore calling to all Yemenis, to prove that “national interests of Yemen come before parochial activities and that they follow the GCC agreement spirit for Yemen to move in the direction of a better democracy”.
The US continues to give support towards this transition by assisting Yemeni institutions to extend long-term security and stability in the country. Yemen is building an establishment despite the fact that the country has received rule from only one person. There are various traditions that the country contains, including “a vibrant civil society, independent media, and leaders who place the larger national interests above politics, religion, sect or tribe”.
The actions of patriotism by the president show that citizens of Yemen are lucky to have a president with such interests; this is a good example of a true and patriotic leader. The reason why the United States intends to continue strengthening institutions of government in Yemen is that the US wants Yemen to be more responsive to people, accountable, and effective. It is also worth noting that the US is also developing partnerships with most ministries in Yemen in order to expand important services, improve organization, counter corruption, and augment intelligibility.
For the US to assist Yemen in installing stability and security, it needs to carry on giving strength to certain areas such as civil society law, women empowerment, create publicity on Yemen’s electoral reforms and also its transition, and construct Yemen’s political parties’ ability to get more involved in democratic engagements that are more peaceful. In strengthening the civil society, the US would be enhancing the former’s responsibility of carrying out parliamentary oversight and offering training in advocacy and leadership.
The current strategies mentioned above are likely to take effect and bring success after years of trying and failing. However, this could only be possible if many improbable suppositions prove to be applicable. Dependence on a counter-terrorism approach built around the fantasy of a purposeful and unitary Yemeni country could lead to failure of the United States military finding a counter-terrorism partner in the state of Yemen; it could also contribute to inadequate and exceedingly unpleasant policy alternatives for directly dealing with AQAP.
A lot of thorough studies are needed for this problem, especially on the rigorous efforts of higher-ranking American policy-makers past the counter-terrorism society. It is however well known that identifying the problem may be considered a full package, but it is actually half of the battle. The United States must fully realize that its previous efforts have totally failed, and this should act as a motivation or challenge in molding a new policy.
The longer it takes for the United States to realize this and start working, the more likely Yemen faces chances of being hit by another attack as well as increased poverty. Instead of defining only the negative objectives in Yemen, United States should be defining the least important positive circumstances that must be carried out so that the state will not front a nationwide sanctuary threat to the United States and decide the policy and resources desired to attain those situations. That will be the only time the United States will develop a Yemen strategy that would be worthy of success.
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