U.S. Role and Strategy in the Middle East: Yemen and the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, October 6, 2015   [open pdf - 525KB]

This is a testimony compilation of the October 6, 2015 hearing "U.S. Role and Strategy in the Middle East: Yemen and the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council" held before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the testimony of Mary Beth Long: "Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. I am honored to be here to speak about the U.S. role and strategy in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Yemen. While Yemen looks better now than it did a few months ago, we are -- at best -- looking at a stalemate that does not appear to lead to a political resolution anytime soon. Make no mistake: Yemen is not a model for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, as asserted by the White House spokesman in March of this year. Washington must provide a clear expression of U.S. interests, clarify our policies to our allies and our enemies, and follow through with timely and decisive action. The primary U.S. concern in Yemen is that Iran is using the conflict there to increase its power in the region. Washington must help contain Iran and its regional meddling, which counters U.S. interests. The U.S. should also be concerned about Iran and Russia working together in Yemen and the broader Middle East. At this time, we do not understand their strategy or respective roles in what appear to be a division of labor. Washington must also recognize that Yemeni territory and islands are critical to U.S. interests. In particular, the global 'chokepoint' at the Bab el - Mandab ('Gate of Grief') is the gateway to virtually all Suez Canal traffic. Finally, it is important to note that the threat posed by terrorists and extremists in Yemen is likely a far greater risk to the U.S. and its Gulf allies than ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] currently appears to be." Statements, letters, and other materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Anne Patterson and John R. Allen

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