Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Answering yesterday’s questions: Mideast going to hell

John McCreary of NightWatch fame answers my question of yesterday about what the Saudi bombing in Yemen (and the Israeli arms interception near Cyprus) might mean: The significance is that Saudi Arabia is now engaged in counter-insurgency operations.  Tallying the score in the Middle East-south Asian region during the past five years, a Shiite government ...

577439_091106_questions25.jpg
577439_091106_questions25.jpg

John McCreary of NightWatch fame answers my question of yesterday about what the Saudi bombing in Yemen (and the Israeli arms interception near Cyprus) might mean:

The significance is that Saudi Arabia is now engaged in counter-insurgency operations.  Tallying the score in the Middle East-south Asian region during the past five years, a Shiite government is in Baghdad, replacing a secular government, but violence is down for now. 

The Taliban in Afghanistan now operate in more than 220 of the 400 districts in Afghanistan, compared to fewer than 30 five years ago. A new Pakistani Taliban movement has sustained insurgency in the Pakistan border regions and spread terror east of the Indus River boundary and threatened to carry it to India.

John McCreary of NightWatch fame answers my question of yesterday about what the Saudi bombing in Yemen (and the Israeli arms interception near Cyprus) might mean:

The significance is that Saudi Arabia is now engaged in counter-insurgency operations.  Tallying the score in the Middle East-south Asian region during the past five years, a Shiite government is in Baghdad, replacing a secular government, but violence is down for now. 

The Taliban in Afghanistan now operate in more than 220 of the 400 districts in Afghanistan, compared to fewer than 30 five years ago. A new Pakistani Taliban movement has sustained insurgency in the Pakistan border regions and spread terror east of the Indus River boundary and threatened to carry it to India.

Iran and North Korea have continued to proliferate weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Lebanon has no government. Most Central Asian states have returned to the Russian fold. Western China has become less stable and more unpredictable. Yemen is fighting a low level civil war that has now required Saudi Arabian air force assistance. Iran continues to send arms to its proxies in Lebanon, Gaza, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. New Iranian made rockets now held by Hamas in Gaza can reach Tel Aviv, and maybe Dimona. Iran’s nuclear program continues to expand.

The tally does not look like progress towards stability.”

garlandcannon/Flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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