The recent visit of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis to Saudi Arabia to meet with the King’s beloved son, the last Prince and the Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman was connected with the discussion of the Yemeni conflict, which indicates the development of a strategy in Trump’s administration. During the meeting the supply of high-precision weapons from the US was also discussed, the issue was already raised in the US Congress.
Of course, Trump’s critics in the United States, who have been no less numerous since last year’s election campaign, are overly focused on the new president’s personality, while the problem of America’s international behavior is much deeper. Great-power autism in American foreign policy is supported by the preaching of the United States exclusivity, the missionary complex of spreading this democracy around the world, the quasi-religious doctrine of “predetermined destiny” (Manifest Destiny) , the ideology of atlantism and many others.
The Defense Department is in favor of providing logistical and intelligence support for an ambitious operation led by the UAE military to retake the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeida. But key bureaus inside the State Department and the US Agency for International Development oppose the initiative, believing it will trigger a full-blown famine in the country by closing the port where most of the humanitarian aid in the impoverished country enters.
The apparent and surprisingly abrupt demise in Steve Bannon’s influence offers a major potential opening for neoconservatives, many of whom opposed Trump’s election precisely because of his association with Bannon and the “America Firsters,” to return to power after so many years of being relegated to the sidelines. Bannon’s decline suggest that he no longer wields the kind of veto power that prevented the nomination of Elliott Abrams as deputy secretary of state. Moreover, the administration’s ongoing failure to fill key posts at the undersecretary, assistant secretary, and deputy assistant secretary levels across the government’s foreign-policy apparatus provides a veritable cornucopia of opportunities for aspiring neocons who didn’t express their opposition to the Trump campaign too loudly.