If you were thinking of visiting the US Embassy in Yemen, you may want to cancel that trip. Actually scratching out that trip to Yemen entirely would be the best move. You know where I hear is nice this time of year? Colorado. Just sayin’.
To say things in the Middle-East aren’t looking particularly good would be describing the Chicago Cubs as being in a minor slump when it comes to the World Series.
Take Yemen for example. Things have gotten so bad that just yesterday the US State Department had to abandon their embassy due to Yemen’s instability after Shiite rebels took over much of the country. Similar to how a father tells their child he’s “just going out for cigarettes” before never coming back, the State Department said that it “remains firmly committed to supporting all Yemenis who continue to work toward a peaceful, prosperous, and unified Yemen.” My guess is this must have been said after the words “fuck this noise, we’re peaceing out” was uttered by everyone in the State Department, followed by a Miss Saigon-style exit off the US Embassy’s roof.
Now let’s be fair, after numerous hostage incidences – which included a failed hostage rescue by the US – along with Iran-linked Shiite Houthi rebels taking control of the capitol, this was probably a wise decision by the US. The problem however lies in the fact Yemen’s US Embassy would be the third closed in an Arab country in the last four years with the other two being in Syria and Libya. Granted we look at embassies as places where presidents stick campaign donors that gave enough money that you want to have around for the next election, but not enough money to affect any real policy decisions.
But here’s the thing, US Embassies are also vital for intelligence gathering overseas.
In 2012 when the US Embassy in Syria closed intelligence officials acknowledge that the CIA lost visibility of Syria. In turn, groups like ISIS got stronger due to the US presence not being a strong role in that region. When it comes to the war on terror, Yemen in the past few years has been important to the CIA. With many members of al-Qaida to be reported in the Arabian Peninsula along with multiple drone operations carried out within the region frequently, the loss of the US Embassy will undoubtedly be a huge blow to US intelligence efforts in regards to fighting terrorism.
Then again, I hear if we close down a fourth embassy in the next year, our fifth one will be free!
(Photo Credits: USEmbassy.gov, Wikipedia, Google Images)