Will US Keep Funding Yemen’s Crumbling Regime?

Yemen Aid Conspicuously Absent From Pentagon Proposal

To hear the Obama Administration talk publicly, military aid to Yemen is not in any jeopardy at all, and with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) still strong, it is a top priority for military planners.

The reality, however, is that large portions of Yemen’s military have already defected to the side of the protesters and President Saleh is openly threatening civil war in an increasingly unlikely bid to sustain power. Behind the scenes, US officials have been trying to negotiate an exit for Saleh, and his replacement with a military junta led by a top general.

And despite assuring the continuation of the aid only yesterday, a Pentagon proposal on foreign military aid does not mention Yemen at all. This suggests that the Obama Administration is delaying its decision on arming the nation.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that they are still monitoring the situation and will make a decision from there. The reality, however, is that Saleh was never particularly reliable in using US military aid against its intended targets, often diverting anti-AQAP funding to attacks on separatist movements, and with civil war seemingly on the horizon, it seems like President Saleh is far more interested in keeping the Yemeni people from storming his palace than in fighting AQAP in rural provinces.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.