The Pentagon announced Tuesday it is sending U.S. troops back to Yemen to train Yemeni security forces in a final indication that Washington has been successful in maintaining the status quo, despite a still-active protest movement vying for reform.
“We have begun to reintroduce small numbers of trainers into Yemen,” a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, told reporters. This follows the reintroduction of military aid the Obama administration secured back in March.
The political transition ushered in with the backing of the U.S. finally ousted long-time Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, replacing him with his deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has essentially been a substitute puppet dictator for American policies in Yemen.
The Obama administration has stepped up its drone war in Yemen with the implicit support of the Hadi government, who is reliably taking orders from Washington just as Saleh was. President Obama recently approved the CIA’s introduction of “signature strikes.” That is, the authority to bomb and kill individuals they do no have the ability to identify.
One American official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the new troops being sent to Yemen are special operations forces who work under more secretive arrangements than conventional U.S. troops. It is likely that the role of these troops goes well beyond the “routine training” claimed by the Pentagon spokesman, which would mark yet another instance where Obama sends U.S. soldiers into action abroad without the consent of Congress or the American people.
Hadi now seems to be using, like Saleh before him, aid and arms from Washington to secure his own ruthless power in Yemen. Meanwhile, anti-American sentiment is growing among many Islamists and various tribes inside the country as a response to U.S. bombing and propping up of an illegitimate government.