US Attempts to Tackle al-Qaeda Fueling Yemen’s Civil Wars

Saleh Pledges Support to US, Israel, But Diverts Aid to Attack Secessionists

WikiLeaks documents trickling out regarding Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh reveal a US policy which is achieving little to none of its stated results, but also a stubborn determination to continue that policy more or less unchanged moving forward.

In meetings President Saleh says all the right things, vowing to tackle al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on behalf of both the US and Israel, securing ever increasing levels of US military aid to that end.

But once the aid is delivered, the US finds a totally different Saleh, determined to divert all that aid away from the AQAP infested south and against the Houthi rebels in the nation’s far north. When pressed on the issue Saleh invents allegations of an Iranian role in the secessionist movement.

Normally claims of an Iranian proxy war are the sort of thing the US would eat up, but the outlandish claims of captured Iranian troops are so absurd, and so without any shred of evidence, that the cables marvel at the nerve it takes for Saleh to make the allegations.

Yet despite his overwhelming unreliability, the US diplomats don’t seem to even consider not backing Saleh going forward, and it does seem that if nothing else he can be counted on to lie on behalf of the US and shrug off civilian deaths as no big deal.

In the meantime however Saleh seems determined to use the threat of AQAP to extort massive amounts of aid from the US, and to do little to nothing about AQAP. Incredibly enough, the US seems to have figured this out some time ago, and just doesn’t seem to care.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.