The Pentagon is planning to ramp up the number of U.S. special forces troops in Yemen, pointing to the botched Christmas Day attack on Northwest flight 253 as part of the impetus for the increase. It’s not clear yet how many more American troops will be sent over, but the boost will be significant, according to the Wall Street Journal. —KA
The Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration plans to increase its counterterrorism support to the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh from $70 million in 2009 to roughly $190 million this year, and the U.S. and U.K. have agreed to jointly fund a new counterterrorism police force inside Yemen.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the U.S. supported Yemen “in many different ways” and credited Mr. Saleh’s government with an “aggressive and forceful response to this growing terrorist threat in their country.”
Mr. Morrell, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, said the U.S. was already providing Yemen with financial support, training and other forms of military assistance.
“If that is something that the Yemeni government continues to find helpful, we will look for ways to continue to do that, if not broaden it, but this is obviously a sensitive issue for the Yemeni government and we are mindful of their sovereignty,” he said.