Francisco Martin-Rayo on Yemen

Where Democracy Is America’s Second Choice
Foreign Policy Democracy Lab blog
May 2, 2012
Commentary by: Francisco Martin-Rayo, former Belfer Center IGA fellow
Topic: Yemen

“On April 24, Robert Swan Mueller III, the venerable director of the FBI, paid a visit to Yemen’s newly installed president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi (formerly President Saleh’s main lackey and Yemen’s Vice President). The trip came just after an airstrike two days earlier that successfully targeted Mohammed Saeed al-Umda, Yemen’s fourth most wanted individual and the person in charge of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) finances.

After the meeting, Mueller stated that the United States will continue to support the Yemeni government ‘with full force’ in all respects. On April 26, two days after Mueller’s visit, President Obama approved the CIA’s request for expanded drone strike capabilities in Yemen. This new authority allows the CIA to target individuals even without knowing their identities, effectively permitting it to kill people based on suspicious behavior.”

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