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Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
09-23-2012, 08:57 PM,
#16
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
12 killed in Yemen Salafist-Zaidi clashes: fighters: Twelve people were killed in renewed clashes between Shiite Zaidi rebels and Salafists in northern Yemen today, the second straight day of bloodshed, tribal sources said.

Second batch of U.S. Marines arrives in southern Yemen: The second detachment of 30 U. S. Marines has arrived Thursday on the ground in Yemen's southern province of Lahj to back security forces and deal with counter- terrorism issues in the country's south, a senior government official told Xinhua.
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09-28-2012, 01:56 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-28-2012, 10:17 PM by h3rm35.)
#17
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Yemen sliding into hunger crisis: UN
Sapa-dpa | 25 September, 2012 11:47

Yemen is descending into a humanitarian emergency situation, as almost half of the country's 24 million people are facing hunger, the UN food agency warned on Tuesday in Geneva.

The Arab country is affected by rising international food prices, because it imports nearly all key staples like wheat and sugar.

"Yemen is facing a deteriorating humanitarian crisis with high food and fuel prices, rising poverty, a breakdown of social services, diminishing resources, internal conflict and political instability," the World Food Programme (WFP) said.

Nearly half of the country's children below the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition.

The WFP said it was planning to provide aid to 5.5 million people in Yemen by the end of the year.


U.S. expands its secret war in Africa
Published: Sept. 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM

ALGIERS, Algeria, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- ALGIERS, Algeria, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's "secret wars" against al-Qaida are steadily widening, most notably in Africa, with the U.S. military's Special Forces Operation Command doubling in size and the CIA's strike capabilities undergoing a radical expansion, international analysts said.

"Ad hoc global 'counter-terrorism' efforts that began under President George W. Bush, and were encouraged by Obama, have now become institutionalized -- and the bureaucracy that wages U.S. 'secret wars' will continue to expand for the next couple of years, particularly in Africa," Oxford Analytica observed in a recent assessment.

"Reliance on Special Forces and the CIA will increase in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future as conventional force numbers decline and move into a supporting role."

This marks a significant shift in the U.S.-led strategy in Afghanistan from conventional military power, as the Americans and their allies scale down forces in Afghanistan after an inconclusive 11-year-old war.

As al-Qaida's organization has broken into regional networks because of heavy losses suffered by al-Qaida Central from drone strikes in Pakistan, these groups have become independent operationally and have had some successes in North and West Africa.

The Americans' ability to wage Special Operations wars on a global scale has been strengthened by the creation of relatively small, often unobtrusive, military bases.

"Washington is in the process of a massive expansion of what are referred to internally as 'lily pads' that allow it a global strike capability," Oxford Analytica noted.

These include facilities in Kenya, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Western military sources say the Americans are seeking to establish a base in newly independent South Sudan as well.

It's not hard to see why the Americans are suddenly so interested in Africa after virtually ignoring it for decades.

West Africa is emerging as a vital oil-producing zone, that's attracting China and India because of its mineral resources, including arable farmland, which they need to sustain their burgeoning economies.

East Africa is on the cusp of a major oil and natural gas bonanza, which makes it of particular interest to Beijing and New Delhi because its energy and mineral wealth can be shipped directly eastward across the Indian Ocean.

Some analysts view the Indian Ocean as a future conflict zone between China and India because of its sea lanes.

In 2007, the United States inaugurated the Africa Command to coordinate U.S. military affairs with governments across a continent wracked for decades by war and famine.

As it happens, most of these are autocratic and even dictatorial regimes with a grotesque record of brutality, corruption and coups as they plunder their countries' wealth.

Here Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso spring to mind.

The energy booms under way will only strengthen those regimes and forestall any move toward democracy and good governance.

Recent events in the Arab world have shown the dangers lurking in Africa for the United States.

For decades, the Americans indulged and propped up pro-Western dictators in the interests U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Over the last 18 months, four of these dictators have fallen to pro-democracy uprisings, leaving U.S. strategy in the region in tatters.

Africans see the U.S. Africa Command as little more than an instrument to protect U.S. investment, particularly oil and gas, rather than Washington's state aim of improving links with African nations and training their largely inept and abysmally led military forces.

Indeed, some analysts suspect these developments will drive Africans toward groups like al-Qaida and its allies in North Africa, Nigeria and Somalia, which will in turn trigger U.S. "secret war" military operations to contain them, as are now taking place in Somalia and nearbCAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – To grasp the changes that are rapidly transforming the American military presence in the Middle East and nearby environs, consider that in a few days there will be more U.S. troops based here, in a tiny country on the Horn of Africa, than in Iraq.

Since 2002, Djibouti – a former French colony – has played host to the only permanent U.S. military base on the African continent. Camp Lemonnier has grown steadily from a small outpost to an operation with more than 3,500 military personnel, most of them dedicated to combating terrorism in Somalia, Yemen and other countries in the region.

While U.S. troops are withdrawing from Iraq after nearly a decade of war, they are modestly reinforcing their numbers here. With Osama bin Laden dead and many of his lieutenants eliminated from their traditional bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the U.S. military and intelligence services are refocusing their attention on al-Qaeda regional affiliates on the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

Which is why Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta made a brief stopover here Tuesday to meet Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guellah and to give a pep talk to about 500 troops at Camp Lemonnier.

“Djibouti! Djibouti!” Panetta chanted as he greeted the troops, seemingly bemused to find himself on an outcropping of black volcanic rock at the southernmost point of the Red Sea. Aides said it was his first visit here.

Panetta gave his best holiday wishes to the troops dressed in desert-camouflage but then got right to his point about Djibouti’s geographic significance: its location sandwiched between Yemen and Somalia, both of which are home to al-Qaeda networks.

“Djibouti is a central location for continuing the fight against terrorism, and we’ve made a hell of a lot of progress,” Panetta told the troops in the Camp Lemonnier Thunderdome – a grandiose name for a rubberized basketball court and a volleyball pit with a canvas roof stretched overhead.

“Al Qaeda is what started this war, and we have made a commitment that we are going to track these guys wherever they go to make sure they have no place to hide….whether it’s Yemen or Somalia or anyplace else.”

Panetta shied away from operational specifics, but Djibouti is known as a base from which the military has used drones to conduct airstrikes against terrorist targets in Yemen and Somalia. More recently, the military has also expanded drone operations from bases in Ethiopia, the Seychelles, and a secret location in the Arabian Peninsula.

Panetta made his stopover in Djibouti en route to Afghanistan, where he’ll also meet with troops and top commanders as he reviews the war there. Even before he landed in Kabul, he sounded optimistic.

“We’re moving in the right direction there as well,” he said, noting that U.S. and coalition troop withdrawals had begun in Afghanistan as well, and that the Afghan security forces were taking primary control of more and more territory.

Panetta announced that his trip also would include stops in Turkey, Iraq and Libya, part of a tour of a tumultuous region that a Panetta said was looking better for the United States than it has in a long time.

“There are changes going on,” he told reporters on his plane. “This trip will also look at a turning point after 10 years of war. We’ll be touching a lot of key places that will reflect a lot of the achievements that have been accomplished over the last 10 years.”y Yemen.

The United States "under AFRICOM, is not likely to be as concerned with women's safety as they are their oil and mineral operations, and the draw of fundamentalist Islam," African expert Toby Leon Moorsom of Canada's Queen's University observed.

"Yet interest in Islamic fundamentalism is that much more appealing to people who've lost everything for the sake of the 1 percent intent on taking it all.

"Armies are not signs of hope for those who have recently lost their land in mining concessions and land grabs."

Remember now, Leon Panetta used to be the Director of the CIA, and now is jumping all over the place, setting up the next moves in the US/NATO Risk game for global domination as the Secretary of Defense!

Defense Secretary Panetta visits U.S. base in Djibouti, then travels to Afghanistan

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – To grasp the changes that are rapidly transforming the American military presence in the Middle East and nearby environs, consider that in a few days there will be more U.S. troops based here, in a tiny country on the Horn of Africa, than in Iraq.

Since 2002, Djibouti – a former French colony – has played host to the only permanent U.S. military base on the African continent. Camp Lemonnier has grown steadily from a small outpost to an operation with more than 3,500 military personnel, most of them dedicated to combating terrorism in Somalia, Yemen and other countries in the region.

While U.S. troops are withdrawing from Iraq after nearly a decade of war, they are modestly reinforcing their numbers here. With Osama bin Laden dead and many of his lieutenants eliminated from their traditional bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the U.S. military and intelligence services are refocusing their attention on al-Qaeda regional affiliates on the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

Which is why Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta made a brief stopover here Tuesday to meet Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guellah and to give a pep talk to about 500 troops at Camp Lemonnier.

“Djibouti! Djibouti!” Panetta chanted as he greeted the troops, seemingly bemused to find himself on an outcropping of black volcanic rock at the southernmost point of the Red Sea. Aides said it was his first visit here.

Panetta gave his best holiday wishes to the troops dressed in desert-camouflage but then got right to his point about Djibouti’s geographic significance: its location sandwiched between Yemen and Somalia, both of which are home to al-Qaeda networks.

“Djibouti is a central location for continuing the fight against terrorism, and we’ve made a hell of a lot of progress,” Panetta told the troops in the Camp Lemonnier Thunderdome – a grandiose name for a rubberized basketball court and a volleyball pit with a canvas roof stretched overhead.

“Al Qaeda is what started this war, and we have made a commitment that we are going to track these guys wherever they go to make sure they have no place to hide….whether it’s Yemen or Somalia or anyplace else.”

Panetta shied away from operational specifics, but Djibouti is known as a base from which the military has used drones to conduct airstrikes against terrorist targets in Yemen and Somalia. More recently, the military has also expanded drone operations from bases in Ethiopia, the Seychelles, and a secret location in the Arabian Peninsula.

Panetta made his stopover in Djibouti en route to Afghanistan, where he’ll also meet with troops and top commanders as he reviews the war there. Even before he landed in Kabul, he sounded optimistic.

“We’re moving in the right direction there as well,” he said, noting that U.S. and coalition troop withdrawals had begun in Afghanistan as well, and that the Afghan security forces were taking primary control of more and more territory.

Panetta announced that his trip also would include stops in Turkey, Iraq and Libya, part of a tour of a tumultuous region that a Panetta said was looking better for the United States than it has in a long time.

“There are changes going on,” he told reporters on his plane. “This trip will also look at a turning point after 10 years of war. We’ll be touching a lot of key places that will reflect a lot of the achievements that have been accomplished over the last 10 years.”
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09-28-2012, 10:24 PM,
#18
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Here are some older threads I posted regarding this issue that, somehow, never made it into this thread:

US think tank seeks to connect Iran, Yemen, Qaeda
01-15-2010, 08:25 AM
http://concen.org/forum/thread-31040.html

Yemen: USA Are Fighting Against Democracy, Not Against Al-Qaeda
03-02-2010, 06:22 AM
http://concen.org/forum/thread-31750.html

Yemen and The Militarization of Strategic Waterways
02-09-2010, 12:20 PM
http://concen.org/forum/thread-31396.html

Blackwater in Somalia?
01-15-2010, 08:21 AM
http://concen.org/forum/thread-31038.html

AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
03-14-2010, 06:40 AM
http://concen.org/forum/thread-32023.html
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09-29-2012, 07:46 PM,
#19
RE: Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Kenya perpetrates a war of agression against Somalia; West doen't give a shit since they sponsored it through AFRICOM and the AU! (and sponsored "the enemy" through CIA/Mossad

Last Somali Militant Bastion Falls, Kenya Claims
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan forces claimed on Friday to have captured Kismayu, the last major stronghold of the Shabab militant group in Somalia, which, if confirmed, could spell an end to the Shabab’s ability to control large tracts of territory and mark the beginning of an underground, and possibly just as dangerous, guerrilla phase.

Kenyan officials said their troops had staged a daring midnight amphibious assault to storm the beaches of Kismayu, a vital port for the Shabab, with Somali allies in the boats alongside them.

“Operation Sledge Hammer executed as planned,” wrote Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir in a Twitter message on Friday morning. “Kismayu falls and under control.” He added: “All forces in good shape and spirit.”

Casting confusion over the outcome, the Shabab claimed not to have withdrawn and even bragged on Friday about destroying armored vehicles of the Kenyan Defense Forces.

“KDF cowards attempt to attack Kismayu from the sea but the courageous mujahedeen thwart their attempts,” said a message from a Shabab Twitter account late Friday morning (the two sides have fought pitched battles on Twitter many times before). “Kismayu remains firmly in the hands of the mujahedeen, stay tuned for updates.”

Residents in Kismayu said that the Kenyan troops were still a few miles outside the center of the city and that imams at several mosques were calling for volunteers to rally to the Shabab’s defense. By Friday afternoon, the African Union — which oversees the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, including the Kenyan troops — said that Kismayu was “surrounded.”

“We urge all fighters remaining in Kismayu to lay down their arms,” an African Union statement said. “We have assured them of their safety if they give themselves up peacefully.”

For the past several weeks, Kenyan fighter jets and naval ships have been pounding Kismayu, steadily taking out Shabab positions and preparing the ground for a final assault. According to residents in the town, one of Somalia’s biggest, most of the Shabab fighters had been fleeing reluctantly, choosing to avoid a showdown with the much better-equipped Kenyan military.

Controlling Kismayu has been of the utmost importance to the Shabab, because its port has allowed the militants to bring in weapons and raise money for operations by imposing fees on all sorts of goods. On Friday evening, one Kismayu resident said that the environment inside the town was “very tense” and that “we don’t know where to hide.” The resident, who did not want to be identified, said the Kenyan Army was rapidly approaching, but that the Shabab were still in control of the city center.

Some analysts predicted that once nightfall came, the Shabab would sneak away. Other analysts said that, if cornered, the Shabab fighters who remained in the town might stand and fight.

Kenya’s invasion of Somalia is the most aggressive step it has ever taken against another country. Kenyan officials said they needed to go into Somalia to protect their nation’s borders after a wave of kidnappings, and the first troops rolled in last year. But they have also acknowledged that Somalia’s relentless chaos was hindering Kenya’s fast-growing economy and that the invasion was a long-planned objective to secure the coastline and allow Kenya to move ahead with a multibillion-dollar port on the Indian Ocean, not far from the Somali border.

It is not clear what may happen next. Setting up an inclusive, widely accepted local administration for Kismayu will be crucial for any pacification efforts. But Kismayu has always been a tricky place to rule, with several powerful clans competing for influence and significant port fees to fight over. Even if the Shabab formally withdraw from the town, they have vowed to take their fight underground and use insurgent tactics, which they have done in the past, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

Just in recent weeks, the Shabab, who have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, have assassinated government officials and several journalists in areas that Somalia’s fledging government had claimed were relatively secure. At the same time, Shabab fighters have been streaming back to the few small towns they still control in the desert regions of central Somalia and a mountain range in the north of the country. Some analysts fear they could rebuild.

Many Somalis have a sense of déjà vu watching the retreat of the once formidable Shabab, who terrorized people by enforcing a brutal version of Sharia law, chopping off hands and stoning teenage girls. In late 2006 and early 2007, the Ethiopian Army stormed into Somalia, with covert American help, and ousted an Islamist group that controlled much of the country.

That occupation failed and fueled the rise of the Shabab, a more dangerous and radical incarnation of the original Islamist group that had been in control. American and African Union officials insist they have learned from their mistakes and are now focusing on genuine political change to prevent militants from gaining popular support inside Somalia again.

Somalia’s government recently selected a new president, and donor countries, including the United States, are making enormous contributions in technical and financial assistance to help the Somalis deliver services and earn legitimacy. Still, clan militias seem to have gained sway in several areas of the country, including the territory around Kismayu. Historically, Somalia’s central government has enjoyed little support in the hinterlands.

The Kenyan military had been vowing for nearly a year to capture Kismayu, but its troops had been bogged down for several months in small, desiccated villages, leading many to ridicule the Kenyans and wonder if they would ever reach Kismayu. On Friday, Major Chirchir sent out another triumphant Twitter message: “We confirm, we not ceremonial soldiers.”

Mohamed Ibrahim contributed reporting from Mogadishu, Somalia, and Reuben Kyama from Nairobi

CHECK THIS BULLSAHIT OUT! anyone find this as ominous as I do,) especially the first paragraph?)

September 28, 2012
Training for Consulate Attacks, in Case There’s a Next Time
By ELISABETH BUMILLER

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The “riot” erupted suddenly on the Virginia-North Carolina border in a remote pocket of marshland and pine. “Go back to America!” the protesters shouted, hurling rubber rocks at a large plywood structure meant to be a United States consulate. “We don’t want you here! This is our country!”

Two dozen Marines in full riot gear marched out in formation, beat their batons against their shields and otherwise looked menacing. Within minutes they had pushed back the protesters — fellow Marines in jeans and hooded sweatshirts — in a display of crowd control skills. “It can be a long day if you’re a rioter,” said Staff Sgt. William M. Loushin, the instructor who staged the riot. “Once you actually start getting aggressive against a Marine, it never ends well.”

In the aftermath of the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the Pentagon sent two teams of elite, specially trained Marines to protect American Embassies in Libya and Yemen and would have deployed a third group to Sudan had not the government in Khartoum said no.

To demonstrate what those units — called F.A.S.T. Marines, for Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team — are trained to do, the Marines put on a show this week. At a training center on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, a clutch of reporters observed Marines repelling faux rioters, shooting down doors and clearing a supposed American embassy occupied by militants.

The death of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in the Benghazi attack has focused attention on the adequacy of embassy security in danger zones like Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced a review of diplomatic security led by Thomas R. Pickering, a veteran diplomat and former under secretary of state, and there have been calls from Congress for an independent investigation.

There were no Marines or other American military personnel at the lightly guarded compound in Benghazi, and Marines would not answer questions about how they thought things might have turned out if there had been. The F.A.S.T. units are intended as a rapid-reaction force capable of moving quickly to secure and protect an embassy in crisis. They are not there to engage in offensive ground combat, Marine officials said.

Nor are they to be confused with the Marine security guards in dress uniforms who are permanently stationed at more than 150 diplomatic posts worldwide, all under the purview of the State Department.

Those Marines, who often number fewer than a dozen at an embassy or consulate, are charged with the security of both classified material and American personnel. They carry only side arms but have access to heavier weapons and have at times engaged in combat. In 2004, Marine security guards and Saudi security had a three-hour gun battle with five attackers of the American Consulate in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, that left five consulate employees and four of the attackers dead.

The F.A.S.T. Marines are dispersed for rotating six-month tours at three American military bases, in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, so that they can be strategically located near all potential flash points. The team in Tripoli, Libya, flew from its base in Rota, Spain, while the team dispatched to Yemen came from a base in Bahrain. The third base is in Yokosuka, Japan.

On this morning in the isolated Virginia woods, the Marines practiced shooting down “doors” consisting of plywood sheets hung from free-standing metal frames. The right way was to aim at a 45-degree angle for the locking mechanism to the right of the doorknob, then fire.

When one knob was blown apart, an instructor brought out a piece of wood with a row of three knobs, which was then attached to the plywood door. (The knobs were lined up so that the Marines could practice shooting down doors with knobs in one of three positions common to doors around the world.) Instructors say that the Marines go through several hundred knobs a day.

The final event was the recapture of an American embassy occupied by militants. On command from instructors, the Marines entered the building, encountered cardboard militants wielding weapons and pretended to shoot them. Normally they would have used live ammunition in the exercise, but not this morning.

“It’s really dangerous,” said one of the instructors, Gunnery Sgt. Todd M. Leahey. “This group of Marines in particular, this is their second week of training, so they still have a lot of mistakes they’re making.”

Does anyone ever get hurt? “Absolutely,” Sergeant Leahey said. “We haven’t had anybody die yet, but we have had injuries.”

Down below, the Marines were shouting and practicing an “eye thump” after shooting a cardboard militant.

Sergeant Leahey, 35, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, explained: “If I would press you in the eyeball, if you’re alive you’re going to have a response. If you’re dead you’re not going to have a response. In Iraq we had a lot of people who were fake dead.”

So the Marines, he said, “put the muzzle of their weapon on the chest of the enemy combatant, they press down on it and then they thump them in the eye, and if there’s a response, they’re not dead. And then you take them as a combatant and detain them.”

With that, the morning was over and the consulate was secure.

September 29, 2012
Yemen’s Leader Praises U.S. Drone Strikes
By SCOTT SHANE

WASHINGTON — The president of Yemen gave an unqualified endorsement of American drone strikes in his country during a visit here on Friday, cementing his status as a favored counterterrorism partner of the United States.

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, elected in a one-candidate election in February, said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars that the precision afforded by drones gave them a marked advantage over the aging Soviet aircraft in the Yemeni Air Force.

“They pinpoint the target and have zero margin of error, if you know what target you’re aiming at,” said Mr. Hadi, a former army officer and the successor to Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down after protests against his three-decade rule.

The United States “helped with their drones because the Yemeni Air Force cannot carry out missions at night,” he said. “The electronic brain’s precision is unmatched by the human brain.”

Mr. Hadi expressed no concerns about any reaction against drone strikes, which critics and some government officials have said can fuel anti-American sentiment and feed militancy.

Though Mr. Saleh permitted counterterrorism strikes by American drones, cruise missiles and jets beginning in 2009, American officials have found Mr. Hadi a more reliable partner than his capricious predecessor. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist network’s affiliate in Yemen, has mounted several plots against the United States.

On Tuesday, President Obama underscored America’s gratitude to Mr. Hadi by dropping by as the Yemeni president met in New York with John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser. While Mr. Obama spoke briefly with several heads of state at a reception during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Mr. Hadi was the only one singled out for a meeting.

Mr. Obama thanked Mr. Hadi for protecting the American Embassy and diplomats in Sana, the Yemeni capital, during the recent wave of protests against a crude American video insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

American military strikes in Yemen against those suspected of terrorism began in December 2009 and were suspended for months after May 2010, in part because of concern about civilian casualties and the killing of a deputy provincial governor. The C.I.A. and the United States military later resumed strikes using missiles fired from drone aircraft, including the strike in 2011 that killed the American-born militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and another American.

By the count of The Long War Journal, a Web site that tracks counterterrorism operations, there have been 33 American strikes in Yemen this year, compared with 10 last year.

The attacks increased as Al Qaeda and its allies seized parts of two provinces, Abyan and Shabwa, amid the chaos related to a power struggle in Sana. Yemeni forces, which Mr. Hadi said were led by paramilitary groups, later ousted Qaeda fighters from several towns.

“Now they are scattered all over,” Mr. Hadi said of the Qaeda supporters. “But they will never regain the force they once had.”

Mr. Hadi said the deep poverty of Yemen, which is running out of oil and water, “is nurturing Al Qaeda.” He said the $1.5 billion pledged by international donors on Thursday would help Yemen avoid civil war, which he said would be “catastrophic” for the region and the world.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

and for an accurate perspective on the situation:
America's deadly double tap drone attacks are 'killing 49 people for every known terrorist in Pakistan'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208307/Americas-deadly-double-tap-drone-attacks-killing-49-people-known-terrorist-Pakistan.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DLeon%2BWatson

Just one in 50 victims of America’s deadly drone strikes in Pakistan are terrorists – while the rest are innocent civilians, a new report claimed.
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10-04-2012, 09:50 PM,
#20
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
US waives sanctions on states using child soldiers for security interests

[Image: mbadakhsh20121002115635597.jpg]
The Obama administration has waived nearly all US sanctions against countries using child soldiers despite a recent executive order to fight human trafficking.

The Obama administration has waived nearly all US sanctions against countries using child soldiers despite a recent executive order to fight human trafficking.


US President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum on Friday waiving sanctions under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 for Libya, South Sudan and Yemen that Congress legislated to halt US arms sales to countries that are “worst abusers of child soldiers in their militaries,” the US-based periodical Foreign Policy reports Tuesday.

According to the report, Obama also partially waived penalties against the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an effort to allow continued military training and arms sales to the African country.

Angered by Washington’s move, human rights activists say the waivers are damaging to the aim of using US influence to discourage nations that get American military support from using child soldiers. They also insist the measure contradicts the rhetoric Obama used in a speech he delivered on Friday when signing the executive order.


"When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed -- that's slavery," Obama claimed during his address. "It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world. Now, as a nation, we've long rejected such cruelty."

Many among the American human rights community are upset that despite such forceful oratory against the use of child soldiers, the US president has waived for the third consecutive years all penalties against states that are major abusers of the human rights violation.

"After such a strong statement against the exploitation of children, it seems bizarre that Obama would give a pass to countries using children in their armed forces and using U.S. tax money to do that," said Jesse Eaves, the senior policy advisor for child protection at World Vision, as quoted in the report.

Eaves insists that the Obama administration wants to maintain its ties with regimes that it needs for security cooperation and that such blanket use of US waivers allows the administration to avert the objective of the law, which was supposedly to uphold internationally recognized human rights and child protection protocols when dishing out American military aid to other nations.


"The intent in this law was to use this waiver authority only in extreme circumstances, yet this has become an annual thing and this has become the default of this administration," Eaves was quoted as saying in the report.

According to the periodical, Obama first waived the sanctions in 2010, the first year they were to go into effect. At the time, the White House failed to inform Congress of its decision in advance, triggering a strong backlash. A reported justification memo pointed to a number of security-related excuses for the waivers. Sudan was going through a fragile transition, for instance. Yemen was crucial to counterterrorism cooperation, the administration argued.
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