I'm cautiously optimistic that the administration so far appears to be reluctant to barreling into yet another war in Yemen, even if the beloved Joe Lieberman thinks it's a good idea. Starting a war in Yemen would be catastrophic, not the least because the country has urban areas surrounded by tribal, fundamentalist villages in difficult terrain. And as we've seen, American invasions only strengthen Islamic fundamentalism, they don't stop it:
SAN'A, Yemen -- The U.S. and Britain closed their embassies in Yemen on Sunday in the face of al-Qaida threats, after both countries announced an increase in aid to the government to fight the terror group linked to the failed attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas.
The confrontation with al-Qaida's offshoot in Yemen has gained new urgency since the 23-year-old Nigerian accused in the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told American investigators he received training and instructions from the group's operatives in Yemen. President Barack Obama said Saturday that the al-Qaida offshoot was behind the attempt.
The White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the American Embassy, which was attacked twice in 2008, was shut Sunday because of an "active" al-Qaida threat. A statement on the embassy's Web site announcing the closure cited "ongoing threats" from the terror group and did not say how long it would remain closed.
In London, Britain's Foreign Office said its embassy was closed for security reasons. It said officials would decide later whether to reopen it on Monday.
The closure comes as Washington is dramatically stepping up aid to Yemen to fight al-Qaida, which has built up strongholds in remote parts of the impoverished, mountainous nation where government control outside the capital is weak.
The U.S. also provided intelligence and other help to back two Yemeni air and ground assaults on al-Qaida hideouts last month, reported to have killed more than 60 people. Yemeni authorities said more than 30 suspected militants were among the dead.