War in Yemen?

Nov. 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A secret U.S. war in Yemen may undermine efforts to support the government with economic assistance, an analyst said.

Washington is growing more concerned with terrorist activity in Yemen after al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group, allegedly tried to blow up cargo aircraft last week using improvised explosive devices.

Washington is quietly increasing military aid to Yemen while U.S. President Barack Obama talks openly about increasing economic aid to prevent Yemen from turning into a failed state.

Intelligence analysts are talking about a "clandestine war" in Yemen, The Christian Science Monitor reports, though experts say that may undermine the overt economic assistance.

Gregory Johnsen, an expert on Yemen pursuing his doctoral degree at Princeton University, told the Monitor that a consistent approach to Yemen would be helpful.

"But unfortunately, whatever economic aid and attempts to persuade the Yemeni public there have been have been dwarfed by the money and attention going to military options," he was quoted as saying.

Washington, meanwhile, is worried that Yemeni authorities are slowly losing control over the country.

Terrorism analysts said that with multiple al-Qaida affiliates on the offensive in Somalia, Yemen, Mali and Mauritania, control over Africa may be slipping away from state officials.

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