Collapse of Yemen Took US by Surprise

Officials Liken Houthi Takeover to ISIS Gains in Iraq

Testifying to the Senate Intel Committee, NCC director Nick Rasmussen said the collapse of the Yemeni government took the US intelligence community completely by surprise, and that they figured the Yemeni military would be able to hold the capital.

Rasmussen likened the Houthi takeover to the ISIS gains in Iraq “on a somewhat smaller scale,” but said that the situation in Yemen is now a “complete disaster.”

The similarity in both cases seems to have been that the US dramatically overestimated the capabilities of the military that they were heavy subsidizing, and assumed they would fight to the last man for an unpopular government of dubious democratic pedigree.

In both cases, the US was wrong, though the Houthis are starkly different from ISIS, and seem to be eager to enforce some actual democratic reforms, which only is a “complete disaster” to the Obama Administration because they’ve been reliant on the imprimatur of military dictators in Yemen to back their drone war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of