Conditions in Yemen have changed with the onset of the Arab Spring. Political unrest has created openings for the country’s established opposition movements – including al Qaeda – to maneuver for power. Whether the Arab Spring has brought real regime change in Yemen is unclear. While the international community awaits a fully functional government in the capital of Sana’a, al Qaeda may continue to expand its safe haven in the south. Learn more about the challenges in Yemen.
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Will powerbrokers within the Yemeni security forces accept the changes aimed at unifying the weakened army? Can the Yemeni security forces become a truly reliable partner in the fight against AQAP?
Yemen’s fragile and reversible gains against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are threatened by the re-emergence of a violent secessionist movement in the south.
Critics of the administration's drone policy, which they say violates Americans' right to due process, are off the mark. When a law enforcement option to eliminate terrotist threats is neither available nor feasible, the government has little choice but to pursue targetted killings.
Intra-tribal violence and the steady stream of mutinies within the Yemeni armed forces bode ill for the future of the fight against AQAP in Yemen.
Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, which has already attempted three attacks on the United States, is stronger now than it was before the start of the Arab Spring. The Yemeni government, America’s counter-terrorism partner, is weaker. The danger to America from this virulent terrorist group is growing. And our current strategy is unlikely to succeed.
This detailed organization chart of the leadership of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) might be of interest as the one-year anniversary of Anwar al Awlaki’s death (September 30) approaches.