CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen breaks down the numbers behind the ramped up covert war in Yemen and says that it is a strategy that the Obama administration could very well increase in use beyond what has already been done.
Bergen notes in his article on CNN's Opinion page that the changes comes because al Qaeda's Yemen-based affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has over the past three years attempted a number of terrorist attacks against the United States, launching it from relative obscurity to the top of the U.S. government's list of national security threats.
The Obama administration has launched an estimated 28 drone strikes and 13 air strikes in Yemen, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation from reliable news reports. By contrast, the administration of George W. Bush only launched one drone attack in Yemen.
Obama has ramped up even more, Bergen notes, with the depature of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh who stepped down in February. Since then, the American drone strikes and airstrikes have increased. In just three months, the United States launched an estimated 20 strikes. By comparison, there were just 18 attacks in the previous two years.