U.S. Policy in Yemen, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, July 19, 2011 [open pdf - 262KB]
From the opening statement of Robert P. Casey: "We're here today to discuss the complex set of challenges facing United States policy in Yemen, and that examination of policy comes amid 5 months of popular protests and political unrest. During this historic period of sweeping change in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria, Yemen often gets overlooked. However, as a result of the power vacuum caused by President Saleh's departure to Saudi Arabia in June, there are serious concerns over the government's ability to prevent al-Qaeda from gaining a foothold, or I should say a stronghold, in the country, as well as broader concerns about the growing humanitarian and economic crises that are plaguing Yemen today. Al-Qaeda's presence in Yemen is not new. We know that. But it has grown increasingly worrisome in the past several years. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as we know by the acronym AQAP, has carried out multiple attacks against the people of Yemen and also against Americans as well as other countries and her citizens. We all remember the foiled Christmas Day so-called underwear bomber attack in 2009, which revealed AQAP's strategy of direct attacks on the U.S. homeland. In October of last year, Yemeni terrorists again targeted the United States homeland with UPS packages containing explosives. One of the packages was bound for the Philadelphia International Airport in my home State of Pennsylvania. Given the direct threat that AQAP poses to United States national security interests, and taking into account significant gains made in United States operations against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past year, counterterrorism efforts in Yemen must be a central focus of our national security strategy. That said, our counterterrorism concerns are closely intertwined with political, economic, and developmental challenges as well. And those challenges are those that the United States must work to address as part of a holistic approach to this challenge." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel Benjamin, Janet A. Sanderson, John F. Kerry, Christopher Boucek, Christa Capozzola, Robert P. Casey, Jr., Daniel R. Green, James E. Risch, and Janet Sanderson.
S. Hrg. 112-364; Senate Hearing 112-364
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