Denying Al Qaeda safe haven in a weak state an analysis of U.S. strategy in Yemen
Detzi, Daniel W.
Hafez, Mohammed M.
Russell, James A.
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The dubious merger between the al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia in January 2009 quickly raised a red flag among U.S. policy makers in Washington. The newly formed transnational terror group known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) spurred President Barack Obama to initiate a thorough review and reinvention of U.S. policy towards Yemen. In response to the President's initiative the National Security Council (NSC) developed a "two pronged strategy" which sought to strengthen Yemen's security apparatus, and improve its governance. The strategy is consistent with the administration's overall perception of the vulnerabilities inherent in a "weak state," yet an investigation into the elements which define Yemen's sociopolitical landscape, as well as an analysis of AQA's strategy, reveal that the U.S. strategy toward Yemen embraces inaccurate assumptions. This study finds that the rapid buildup of Yemen's security apparatus prior to the implementation of government reforms, has perpetuated the authoritarian rule within the country, further entrenching AQAP within the marginalized southern population.
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