White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest left journalists scratching their heads Wednesday after refusing to deny that the chaos in Yemen means the country is not a model in President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy.
Jon Karl of ABC asked Earnest:
Now that we have essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model in counterterrorism strategy?
Keep in mind that the American-backed president of Yemen, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has fled the country while the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels control most of the Yemini military.
Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia has carried out aerial strikes against the Houthi rebels in what is looking like a proxy war between the Sunni Muslim world and Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim regime.
Keep in mind that the United States evacuated 125 Special Operation advisers last week because of the chaos in Yemen, Obama’s partner in the war on terror, especially Al Qaeda.
Keep in mind that the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility last week for bombing Shi’ite mosques in Yemen.
Keep all that in mind, because President Obama and his apologist Earnest are not keeping it in mind.
Here is Earnest’s reply to Karl’s question Wednesday:
The White House does continue to believe that a successful counterterrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground take the fight to extremists in their own country….
There are no longer U.S. officials in Yemen because it’s become a — because the security situation there has deteriorated.
But he is not listening to himself, and President Obama once again passes Foreign Policy Theory 101 while failing Foreign Policy On the Ground 101.
The central government that Obama’s strategy built up in Yemen does not exist, but the Obama administration is holding on for dear life, such as it is in Yemen.
Earnest insisted, “We do continue to enjoy the benefits of a sustained counterterrorism security relationship with the security infrastructure that remains in Yemen.”
Security infrastructure? Much of the military is siding with the Houthi rebels, the American advisers have fled, and Earnest is talking about the “security infrastructure.”
Here is the clip from the White House Press Briefing.