BAM Strait: Let’s Get Serious About Yemen

Highlights of Congressman Lamborn’s op-ed in the Jerusalem Post

“We are finally getting serious in Yemen, and it’s about time. With the advent of the Trump administration, a new day has dawned not only over America, but over the troubled Middle East. After eight long years of strategic drift, we are now returning to the sensible foreign policy of helping our friends and harming our enemies in the region.”

“Last year, I led a congressional fact-finding mission to some of our most important allies in the Middle East. Arab leaders in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain all expressed their serious concerns about the dangerous instability in Yemen, largely due to the malign influence of Iran. Although they were also concerned about Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, that threat paled in significance to them compared to Yemen. They view Iranian backing of the Houthi rebels in Yemen as an existential threat in their own backyard.

“We not only better protect our homeland by engaging more in Yemen, but we also have a golden opportunity to demonstrate loyalty and support to our Gulf state allies. They were understandably alarmed by the Obama administration’s perceived tilt toward Iran. Former president Barack Obama’s ill-advised attempt to curry favor with the Iranian revolutionary regime was pushing our traditional Arab allies in the region away. It’s past time to renew our support for Gulf Arab allies by giving them intelligence, surveillance, and other materiel support.”

“Fortunately, help is on the way. President Donald Trump recognizes what many in Congress — including myself — have been saying for years. We must partner with our regional allies to counterbalance Iranian influence and protect ourselves from radical Islamic terrorists such as AQAP.

“A show of strength, such as the recent Tomahawk strikes in Syria, can do wonders to ward off potential threats and bolster allies, without boots on the ground. Yes, diplomacy must come first, but military efforts by our allies and aided by our support must be part of the mix, especially if it succeeds in driving rebel leaders to the negotiating table.”

I am confident that we now have the right leadership in the White House, the Pentagon and Congress to achieve this goal and secure the future peace and prosperity of our homeland, and the safety and security of our Middle East allies, for years to come.

​Congressman Doug Lamborn represents Colorado’s fifth district. He currently serves as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, subcommittees on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. To read this article in its original format, visit the Jerusalem Post’s online editorial page.