Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Releases Fiscal 2012 Appropriations Bill

The bill is located here. As regards Yemen, there were some funding caveats thrown in. Specifically,
(g) YEMEN.—None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated for assistance for the Government of Yemen until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that— (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Yemen is controlled by a foreign terrorist organization; (2) no member of a foreign terrorist organization serves in any policy position in a ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Yemen that is proposed to receive such assistance; (3) a comprehensive anti-terrorism vetting and tracking system exists for all Yemeni security forces personnel benefitting from United States security assistance; and (4) all ministries, agencies, or instrumentalities of the Government of Yemen that directly or indirectly benefit from United States security assistance are financially transparent and accountable.

A Really Really Secret Campaign in Yemen

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, it sure is hard for the US to keep a secret if it's always in the habit of telling everybody what's going on with the expectation that they'll keep it to themselves.

Now, it seems, stringers for WAPO have been told where the secret base is. Is anyone surprised? The relevant passage in the story follows:

At the same time, the agency is building a desert airstrip so that it can begin flying armed drones over Yemen. The facility, which is scheduled to be completed in September, is designed to shield the CIA’s aircraft, and their sophisticated surveillance equipment, from observers at busier regional military hubs such as Djibouti, where the JSOC drones are based.

The Washington Post is withholding the specific location of the CIA facility at the administration’s request.

So who's surprised? I am. I had predicted we'd all know where it was by the end of July, and I think the Administration will probably be able to keep the secret past this Sunday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

AQAP's Inspire #6

AQAP released its most recent issue of Inspire and it is, well, incredibly uninspiring. It may be time for Samir Khan et al. to shut it down and find new jobs. Go to to view the latest (or any of the past) issue.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best Analysis on Yemeni Protests (and the JMP's Role) Thus Far

This excellent article by Professor Yadav seeks to make an important distinction that seems to be lost in the close to six months of protests that have rocked Yemen: the JMP is not the Janus face of the ruling regime. My favorite excerpt is this:
For over a decade, the organized political opposition has sought to substantially reform the political regime in Yemen and to replace Saleh through legal and non-violent mechanisms. This opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), is itself a cross-ideological umbrella of religious parties, socialists, and other leftist nationalists. Indeed, it is so ideologically diverse that issues of procedural and institutional reform have, for a long time, been all that the groups can agree to pursue in common. The Youth revolutionaries' critique of the JMP has centered on its gradual and incremental approach, and its perceived neglect of grassroots. Alienated over time from constituencies outside of Sana'a, the JMP had difficulty articulating a common position on the Huthi crisis, all but missed the emergence of the Southern movement, and was able to carve out only minimal concessions from an encroaching regime. In other words, until a mobilizing push came from Cairo and Tunis and they began to organize (reformist, but not revolutionary) protests of their own in January, the JMP appeared to be teetering on obsolescence.
I want to thank Stacey Philbrick Yadav for an incredibly insightful article. It sheds light on the potential for the opposition in Yemen to play a part in the future success of Yemen.

"We did not expect Washington's stance to be so weak"

Looks like Saleh is set to return to Yemen this Sunday to ensure that "the ruling family" retains their portion of power, come what may. If this article truly gets at the heart of the Obama Administration's tepidity, what a sad state of affairs.