U.S. Special Forces Secret Training Operations

Posted on September 8, 2010

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 U.S. special operations forces are expanding their training of the Yemeni military as the Obama administration broadens its program to counter terrorism in countries reluctant to harbor a visible American military presence.

That balancing act has become an administration trademark, funneling millions of dollars in aid and low-profile military trainers to countries like Pakistan and Yemen in order to take on a more diverse, independent and scattered al-Qaida network.

The scope and amount of the military training in Yemen has grown slowly, reflecting the Pentagon’s intention to tackle the terror threat while still being sensitive to fears that a larger American footprint in Yemen could help fuel the insurgency.

Over the past year, the number of elite U.S. trainers moving in and out of Yemen has doubled, from 25 to about 50 now. The numbers fluctuate depending on the training schedule, but U.S. forces are now providing a more complex level of instruction that combines tactical ground and air operations.

At stake is the stability of a troubled, poverty-stricken nation struggling to thwart al-Qaida-linked terrorists who are growing stronger and are increasingly targeting the U.S. and other Western interests.

“Yemen is the model for how we’re going to conduct counterterrorism in the future,” said Rick Nelson, a counterterrorism expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is not going to be large-scale intervention as it was under the Bush administration and not because it is or isn’t working but because it’s economically unfeasible” to wage expensive wars.

The U.S. military training there, said one senior defense official, is aimed at fixing shortfalls in the Yemeni military’s aviation, intelligence and tactical operations. And there also is training for the maintenance of aircraft and other systems.

MORE…..news.yahoo.com

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