SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE STATEMENT OF GENERAL DAVID H. PETRAEUS, U.S. ARMY, COMMANDER U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE ON THE AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN STRATEGIC REVIEW AND THE POSTURE OF U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
In Yemen, we have seen an increase in the prominence of al-Qaeda as it exploits the country’s security, economic, and social challenges. The threat to Yemen, to the region, and, indeed, to the U.S. homeland posed by what is now called “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP) has been demonstrated by suicide bombers trying to carry out operations in Yemen’s capital, by the attempt to assassinate the Assistant Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia, and by the attempted bombing of the U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.
In fact, a number of us have been increasingly concerned over the past 2½ years by the developments we have observed in Yemen. And last April, I approved a plan developed, in concert with our Ambassador in Yemen, US intelligence agencies, and the State Department, to expand our assistance to key security elements in Yemen. With Yemeni President Saleh’s approval, we began executing that plan last summer, and this helped strengthen the capabilities demonstrated by the Yemeni operations that were carried out against AQAP in mid-December and that have been executed periodically since then. And with your support, we are working toward expanded, sustained levels of assistance in Yemen. In fact, our efforts in Yemen should be seen not just as part of our overall counter-terrorist campaign, but also as part of what might be termed “Preventive Counterinsurgency Operations” – for our efforts not only help develop key security forces in Yemen, they also contribute to the overall effort to help Yemen deal with challenges that could become much more significant if not dealt with early on.
Learn more about Yemen
Key Leaders: Yemen
CIA World Factbook: Yemen
U.S. Embassy Sana'a - Website
U.S. Embassy Sana'a - Facebook Page