Despite having a limitless supply of American weaponry at its disposal, the Saudi invasion of Yemen has been a complete catastrophe. The Houthis have made Yemen into an Afghanistan-esque nightmare for Riyadh. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is becoming so large that even culpable western media outlets are unable to hide the ugly reality on the ground: Millions on the verge of starvation, as well as regular reports of atrocities committed by the Saudis.
The latest embarrassment for the Saudis in Yemen is an alleged attack against one of its frigates, allegedly carried out by the Houthis. We're being quite liberal with our use of "alleged" because frankly, when it comes to blown up ships off the coast of Yemen, sometimes the official story is full of holes.
We're not suggesting the U.S. is desperately trying to provoke or manufacture some sort of attack against the Cole (again), allowing Washington to bomb Yemen with impunity, thus "winning" the war for the incompetent Saudis. We're just pointing out that the Gulf of Tonkin incident worked like a charm.
Of course, the U.S. has been targeting "Al Qaeda" in Yemen for a long time, mostly with drones. But we wouldn't be at all surprised if Washington was looking for a larger role in the conflict.
After all, Trump's hawkish stance on Iran would logically translate into a more hands-on approach in Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthis and Hezbollah are fighting the U.S.-backed Saudis.
That they presented the targeted Saudi frigate as aimed at the US suggests the USS Cole is being sent in no small part with an eye toward it drawing such an attack from the Houthis as well, potentially giving the US a pretext for a deeper involvement in the Saudi invasion than the substantial involvement the US already has.