It is not a coincidence that the Iran backed al-Houthi Rebels in Yemen issued a call to arms, took over the third largest city, and announced an incursion into South Yemen just after the remaining U.S. Special Forces and Intelligence operators left the impoverished nation. An Iranian ship has arrived with weapons to supply the Houthis.
Yemen is a very complicated place with shifting alliances and power plays. The Obama administration has called Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the biggest threat to America and our interests. America loses a watchful eye on those who desire to do us harm with the complete pullout. The Houthis usurping of power will cause Al-Qaida to grow in numbers, not diminish. Sunni tribes will align with them to fight the Houthis.
The country is two thirds Sunni and they will not accept the rule of the one third Zaidi-Shia Houthis. There will be more conflict. A failed state and further destabilized Yemen threatens not only Saudi Arabia, but the world as well, considering the potential destabilized oil region and potential disruption of international trade in the Red Sea or The Persian Gulf.
With the Obama administration desperate to get a nuclear deal, concessions that will contribute to long-term regional and in turn world insecurity are clearly being handed out. Iran’s influence has grown much stronger throughout the region as has their leverage in the nuclear talks.
Gen. Petraeus recently spoke about Iran being the greater risk than even the barbarous ISIS in Iraq, and he is right. It is because of President Obama’s personal political agenda that he irresponsibly pulled the U.S. stabilizing force out Iraq, leading to not only the rise of ISIS, but the political purging and dominance of Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia close with Iran. Thus, Iran’s opportunistic influence has all but given them control of that country.
It is important to note, the United States has had a foreign policy of balancing of regional powers in the Middle East for decades. Those powers, being Iran and Saudi Arabia. What we are seeing now under this president’s policies is a significant imbalance of power at a crucial time, where very high stakes negotiations are taking place. We are negotiating from a position of weakness, while Iran hasn’t been stronger since the existence of the Persian Empire.
It is the French who are holding the line on the Iranian nuclear program and world sanctions. Perhaps they understand the big picture and the long-term problems with Iran retaining the ability or achieving a nuclear bomb. Allowing the Iranians to continue to enrich Uranium encourages other non-nuclear nations to do the same. Saudi Arabia would probably be the first country in the region to do so, but not the last.
We have seen with the North Korean example that if you have 5000 nuclear bombs or 1, you have a seat at the table and must be addressed by the international community.
In the 1950-60s the U.S. proved nuclear energy via another element, Thorium. Thorium is more abundant in the earth’s surface, more efficient, and has zero chance of a Fukashima type meltdown. Most importantly, it is almost impossible to proliferate into weapons, which is exactly why we did not use it in that era. If Obama wants a deal that truly benefits world security, rather than his desire to be relevant, he should call the bluff of the Iranians. Hand over the enriched Uranium in exchange for international help to create a peaceful nuclear energy program. The U.S. should immediately harness Thorium as an export, give financing for, and utilize it as a powerful foreign policy tool.