LIEBERMAN EYES ‘TOMORROW’S WAR’…. In light of the attempted terrorism aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas, there are plenty of reasonable questions that deserve thorough answers. Why was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab able to get and keep a visa in 2008? To what extent did Abdulmutallab have terrorist associations? How dangerous were his materials, and how was he able to get them on the plane?
And if you’re Joe Lieberman, how soon can we go to war with Yemen?
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) Sunday said that Yemen could be the ground of America’s next overseas war if Washington does not take preemptive action to root out al-Qaeda interests there.
Lieberman, who helms the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the U.S. will have to take an active approach in Yemen after multiple recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. were linked back to the Middle Eastern nation.
The Connecticut senator said that an administration official told him that “Iraq was yesterday’s war, Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.”
It was, I suppose, only a matter of time. Those of you who had “Lieberman on Fox News on Sunday morning” in the pool can collect your prize.
Part of what’s confusing about Lieberman’s comments is that it’s not clear exactly what he has in mind for “tomorrow’s war.” He expects the U.S. to “act preemptively” in Yemen. But does that mean an invasion? One assumes not, since the Yemeni government has already been largely cooperative with our counter-terrorism efforts over the last eight years.
Does that mean striking at terrorist targets in Yemen? One assumes that’s not what Lieberman was referring to, since we’ve been doing just that for quite some time. Indeed, the NYT noted today, “In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen. A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country, according a former top agency official. At the same time, some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, senior military officers said.”
Watching Lieberman on Fox News yesterday, one got the sense that Lieberman sees value in “Shock and Awe: Yemen Edition.” Here’s hoping Lieberman’s calls are widely ignored.