US to spend $75 million on new Yemen military training

By Reuters
Monday, February 14, 2011 18:42 EDT
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WASHINGTON – The United States aims to spend $75 million to double the size of a special Yemeni counter-terrorism unit, a US official said on Monday.

The funding, which has yet to be approved by Congress, is part of a broader effort to increase pressure on al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Michael Leiter, head of the National Counterterrorism Center, told Congress last week he saw AQAP as the biggest current threat to the U.S. homeland.

The group has claimed responsibility for a failed Christmas Day attack in 2009 aboard a US airliner and a more recent attempt last year to blow up two U.S.-bound cargo planes with toner cartridges packed with explosives.

The U.S. official said the funds would be invested in a special Yemeni counter-terrorism unit that is operated under Yemen’s interior ministry and now totals around 300 people.

The funds are unrelated to another $120 million earmarked for Yemen in President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget request unveiled on Monday. The request includes $35 million in additional military assistance for Yemen and $69 million in economic assistance.

Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power for 30 years, has faced growing protests in recent weeks from thousands of Yemenis, inspired by uprisings that toppled Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

He is also under pressure to quash the resurgent al Qaeda wing in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, at the same time as he struggles to control southern secessionists and to cement a fragile truce with rebels in the north.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress last week that Yemen’s “myriad political, security, and development challenges” pose the greatest threat to that poor Arab nation since its 1994 civil war.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; additional reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by John Whitesides)

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  • Anonymous

    President’s only been in power for 20 years. If we play our cards right we’ll get another 10 years out of him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rambotheshark Robin Cooper

    We have to train the army to subdue protests so democracy does not spring up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J2BKVG44GLNRGIAYKD7UO4O27E Arthur Young

    The whole foreign policy of the United States has got to be looked at with a jaundiced eye. We call our Aid a stimulus for progressive action, when in fact they are bribes for being our proxies. To loan or sell Aid to Countries for their obedience is a danger to those Countries citizens and no guarantee of allegiance…nor should it be. If a Country needs help ,or the help of a Coalition it should be on a basis of understanding, not simply because we have doled out money for many years. Yemen, Pakistan, and many others look to the U.S as the kid in the hallway at school who can be threatened for money..or else, the governments of the ME willingly subjugate their populations for our generous support . It is a mess, but I support the right of the populations of every nation to make loud their grievances…it is better than licking the boot coming down on your head !!

  • Anonymous

    The people are rising, so the US is buying more death squads with our tax dollars.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    More money spent we do not have, borrowed from China, then thrown down a literal rat hole of a nation.

  • Anonymous

    1. gotta fight ‘em over there..
    2. we need to support ‘stability’..
    3. we have millions to spare right now..
    1. the US MIC is making lots of money off taxpayers
    2. corporations are making lots of money off taxpayers
    3. we support dictators to establish control, so we get 1 + 2

  • Anonymous

    Michael Leiter, head of the National Counterterrorism Center, told Congress last week he saw AQAP as the biggest current threat to the U.S.


  • Anonymous

    Dude look at a map. It’s all about oil.

  • Anonymous

    You have it wrong. We are paid mercenaries for the oil companies.

    We send our men to die at war so that we can get a free car wash with every fillup.

  • Anonymous

    The puppeteer’s hands are getting tired.

  • Anonymous

    Why not just give the 75,000,000 to the president of Yemen? He’ll steal most of it like Mubarek, Marcos, Karzai and all the others.

  • http://twitter.com/Covert4Liberty Brimstone Hill

    And where will they spend that 75 million? At the Weapons Store of course, that is run by the Military Industrial offshore Banking Complex.
    Then when Yemen has all that weaponry, our government will label them a rogue state and invade them and pilfer their resources.
    America trains and supplies it’s potential foes so it can keep a perpetual war in place.
    To keep a war going you need OIL, Weapons, and Banks.
    This is how these shysters get Huge Profits and obscene bonuses.
    America: In War we Trust

  • Anonymous

    An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of Cure-
    unless juicy government “defense” contracts are at stake of course…

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. War is the new God. Well, maybe not that “new”.

    I totally disagree with the “respect” stated at the end of the film! The “fighters” are not “fighters”, they are sheep. Lemmy is NOT a nazi! It’s all too easy to twist Nietsche! Happens every day…

    here’s the antidote:

    (Lemmy’s a living God)

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    US prop up Yemen Government
    protect Yemen from the Yemenis

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J2BKVG44GLNRGIAYKD7UO4O27E Arthur Young

    You are correct, but there are also many other things. I confess I don’t know how our government puts together it’s policies, but generally it is based on Minerals, Strategic Military Position, Big Business/Corporate advantages ( think cheap labor and Tax Shelters ), and I would love to read other readers take on this because these people know that there are so many things to exploit/extract !!!!

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Only 75 mil? Wow! Dictators are getting cheaper and cheaper. Could it be because they’re close to their expiration date?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    There’s no oil in Egypt or Palestine or Honduras or Colombia. It’s about a lot more than oil.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I guess you didn’t hear. They kill gays there. That ought to get your approval for the expenditure.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I’ve got news for you. They’ve been in Yemen for a long, long time.