Anwar Eshki, the head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, said al-Qaeda in Yemen “is stronger than it was a year ago and is turning Yemen into its base for operations against the West.” Mr. Eshki’s centre closely follows al-Qaeda in Yemen.
“Yemen is al-Qaeda’s last resort,” Mr. Eshki said. “There’s no doubt that al-Qaeda’s presence in Yemen is more dangerous than its presence in Afghanistan.”
Assume this is true. What effect, if any, should it have on Obama’s decision to send 30 000 more troops to Afghanistan? What effect, if any, should this have on Canada’s determination to end our combat mission in Afghanistan in 2011? What effect, if any, should this have on our ongoing mission in Afghanistan which — according to the most recent quarterly report, is “to leave Afghanistan to Afghans as a country that is democratic, self-sufficient and stable”?
These are not rhetorical questions. Some might not be relevant at all; but given the original rationale for going in to Afghanistan was to deny al-Qaeda a base from which to launch attacks against the West, it might be worth talking them through.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.