in iraq, the us is aligned with iran; it's all about arming up shia militias, which one could be forgiven for thinking was the purpose of the invasion, since that was its tangible and predictable and intentional result. on the other hand, in yemen, we're aligned with the saudis. i daresay the saudi strategy on the ground in yemen is to arm up al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and give them air support. that is, we are supporting both the iranian mullahs and al qaeda here and there while opposing them elsewhere as we mechanically condemn them both. (then there's assad v isis; we support each against the other. israel and egypt both need ever-more extreme weapons. we support and hate every side in libya, etc.) so i'd say this to the state department or the pentagon: if you can't come up with a strategy that isn't just arming your declared enemies ("the terrorists"), you should quit. obviously there's no way to win if you're on all sides at once, or if you strongly support everything you condemn, and so on. we're a very yappy nation, but not the thinkiest. if you described our strategy as trying to make sure that the whole region is consumed by the maximum possible total war as soon as possible, that would at least make our decisions 'rational'.