Situation Update

Recent Publications

  • While the Houthi battle against the state may appear a sideshow to many, the expansion of conflict with the Houthi to an area directly north of Yemen’s capital will likely draw on Yemen’s limited military, now the only significant forces fighting our shared enemy AQAP
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues its military operations in Yemen. It would be premature to expect a large-scale offensive, but it would also be a mistake to rule out the possibility of a series of significant attacks that could unhinge the Yemeni security forces.
  • Yemen is America's counter-terrorism partner against AQAP. Yemeni efforts since 2011 have reduced AQAP’s control, but the escalating conflict with the al Houthis threatens to divert key resources away from the counter-terrorism fight once again.
  • The Pakistani military finally launched a long-awaited military operation in the main al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan on June 15. Although necessary, the operation alone is not sufficient in defeating al Qaeda and its allies in the region.

Featured Topics

Yemen Model Won't Work in Iraq, Syria

President Obama says the United States is looking to its Yemen policy as a model for what to do in Iraq and Syria. But what the president labels the “Yemen model” has not been as successful as the White House claims; indeed, it is in danger of collapse.

How to Avert Afghanistan's Implosion

This election must be decided according to Afghan law by the established electoral bodies and without more mobilization of street pressures. Any other outcome will hurt all of the Afghan people and seriously damage U.S. and international interests in South Asia.

Maps and Graphics

  • Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by formal networks and many operate outside of any formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network.

  • The recent al Qaeda threat is real, though little is known about the exact target of the attack, or where it will occur. A number of factors indicate that the attack initially expected on August 4 may have been planned for August 7. 

Daily News Brief

Iran News Round Up

  • Iranian officials condemn Israeli airstrikes; Rouhani administration released economic policies to spur growth and reduce inflation

Pakistan Security Brief

  • Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security reiterates that Operation Zarb-e-Azb targets all local and foreign militants indiscriminately; Multiple sources report that airstrikes in Shawal Valley on July 16 killed up to 37 civilians, contradicting reports from Pakistan Army; Al Qaeda renews allegiance to Taliban Emir Mullah Omar in publication on July 20; China’s special envoy to Afghanistan praises ISI’s role in counterterrorism; Prime Minister’s special assistant on foreign affairs says Pakistan will not violate Iran sanctions regime.

Gulf of Aden Security Review

  • Yemen: U.S. State Department issues travel warning for U.S. citizens in Yemen; Yemeni 9th Brigade arrives in Amran; al Houthi militants capture Yemeni soldiers in al Jawf; tribal sources report major al Houthi movement toward al Jawf; unidentified gunmen open fire in Lahij Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SNA forces in Bay region; car bomb kills local government administrator in Mogadishu; Kenyan police conduct security operations in Kenya’s Coast Province; unidentified assailants attack Puntland military checkpoint in Mudug region