US Hopes to Establish Bases as Yemen Fight Escalates

'Forward Operating Bases' Would Put US Forces 'Into the Field'

US officials are looking to dramatically escalate their on the ground presence in Yemen, and new reports from the Wall Street Journal suggest that the US is hoping for Yemen to allow the establishment of “forward operating bases” for US troops in southern Yemen.

Of course at the moment the US isn’t formally at war in Yemen, so the deployment of US troops “into the field” is being couched as a purely advisory role, though reports also make it clear that the deployment would involve Special Operations forces.

But the deployment of US military “advisors” in a nation ahead of an eventual full scale military operation is nothing new, and while officials are still keeping their exact strategy somewhat vague it appears clear that the Obama Administration is escalating to what could only be called a war-like posture in Yemen.

At the same time, the CIA is looking to hugely increase its own presence on the ground, with large numbers of operatives looking to deploy in the country and reports suggesting that the US has already moved to deploying CIA Predator drones in the region, though they have yet to carry out the same sort of mass assassination campaign they have in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.