US Should Move Beyond Drones in Yemen, by Daniel Tavana

The United States should reevaluate and diversify its counterterrorism efforts in Yemen.  Research Associate Daniel Tavana discusses a sustainable approach to increase Yemen’s capacity in preparation for life after drones.

“We will need to help countries like Yemen,” President Obama said during his State of the Union Address in January, “provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists.” Despite the administration’s rhetorical support for “building partner capacity,” counterterrorism policy has become increasingly reliant on targeted strikes by US forces to combat terrorists in Yemen which has generated popular resentment.

A growing chorus of voices from across the political spectrum, including former State Department legal adviser Harold Koh and Sen. John McCain, has voiced concerns about the transparency and legality of these strikes. Missing from this debate, however, is a substantive discussion of how the United States can reduce its reliance on drones and empower the Yemeni government to address threats within its own borders.

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