Trump’s Solution to Terrorism
During his time in office, former President Barack Obama set up measures to prevent civilians from being killed by drones, by commando raids, or by other such anti-terrorism methods currently employed in Middle Eastern war zones. According to The New York Times, President Trump’s administration is now looking for ways to get around those policies.
The Pentagon requested that certain areas in Yemen be declared “areas of active hostilities”, thereby softening battlefield rules (New York Times). President Trump granted the request. This led to three American soldiers being wounded, a 50 minute firefight, 75 million dollars’ worth of aircraft being destroyed, the first military death on the new commander in chief’s watch: that of Chief Petty Officer William Owen’s, as well as the deaths of several civilians.
Immediately after this attack, Yemeni officials suspended commando raids in its territory. According to the New York Times, many officials in The White House are worried that civilian deaths will cost them the trust and support of other nations.
Former President Barack Obama created the Presidential Policy Guidance for two main reasons: civilian deaths may help drive terrorist recruitment, as well as undermine the support of local and regional partners.
President Trump is expected to sign off on a similar proposal from the Pentagon, only this time, it will be for territories in Somalia. According to The New York Times, White House officials see both the strike in Yemen and the srike in Somalia as “test runs” and as ways to determine whether Obama-era constraints will be upheld or not.