The U.S. is planning to restart programs for military aid and training to Yemen, reviving its support for dictatorship after a protest movement drove out the former client, President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Yemenis voted on last month in a referendum on a U.S.-backed transition deal to formally depose Saleh and elect his deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who was the only name on the ballot, as President. The deal granted Saleh total immunity for the crimes he committed while on Washington’s dole and despite the sham, single-candidate “election,” the U.S. praised it as democracy.
The Pentagon is considering as much as $75 million in military assistance to be sent to Yemen in 2012, pending authorization from Congress. This would be in addition to the $120 million in economic aid planned for this year. The U.S. has given more than $326 million in security and civilian assistance to Yemen since 2007.
Other than Yemen’s strategic location in the Middle East, the U.S. has been involved in Yemen to target al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). But the support for dictatorship, aid for Yemeni security forces, and aerial bombardments has killed and affected many civilians and has likely expanded support for AQAP.