Friday, August 12, 2011

Foreign Fights Need Training, Not Troops: Hadley


12 Aug 2011

he U.S. is more likely to increase foreign assistance to nations such as Yemen and Somalia in the future rather than deploying troops, according to President George W. Bush's top national security adviser.

"I think we're going to use a different model in places like Yemen and Somalia, and it's going to be about training and equipping and supporting local forces," Stephen Hadley said during an Aug. 12 panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

U.S. assistance could come through sharing intelligence, the use of unmanned and manned aircraft, or special forces.

"I think that's the model of how we're going to wage the war on terror over the next 10 years," he said.

Hadley's comments come as funding for the U.S. Defense Department and foreign assistance programs run by the State Department are in the crosshairs of lawmakers tasked with cutting federal spending to reduce the federal debt.

An agreement reached by Congress and signed by the president earlier this month to increase the country's debt ceiling calls for $350 billion in national security spending cuts over the next decade. A 12-member congressional super committee - equally split between Democrats and Republicans - must now make recommendations for $1.2 trillion in additional cuts by November. If the panel cannot agree, automatic, across-the-board cuts divided between DoD and other government agencies would go into effect.

The initial round of cuts has grouped a lot of different departments, such as DoD, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, under the national security umbrella. Hadley said grouping these State and DoD efforts is appropriate, but that it opens both up to cuts.

"I would hope that, in some instances, we may cut defense and we may actually add some money on the nondefense national security side," Hadley said.

Funding for security initiatives in Yemen and Somalia - which serve training grounds for terrorists - is critical, according to Hadley.

"[A]s we face other challenges in places like Somalia and Yemen … a lot of that nondefense national security spending becomes even more important," he said. "It's also a lot cheaper to do things through that sector than it is deploying American combat troops."

Rival Rallies in Yemen Draw Thousands

August 12, 2011

Thousands of opponents of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have renewed calls for his departure.

Protesters massed in cities across the country on Friday. Some waved flags and chanted anti-government slogans.

Government loyalists, meanwhile, rallied in a central square in the capital, Sana'a. The state-run SABA news agency showed photos of supporters carrying large pictures of the embattled president.

On Thursday, Mr. Saleh told members of his General Congress People's party once again that he is willing to consider a Gulf Cooperation Council plan that would call for him to eventually step down, if this can take place in "a way that would guarantee a peaceful and smooth transfer of power."

The GCC plan, first proposed in April, calls for President Saleh to cede power to his vice president, with formation of a national unity government and presidential elections.

Mr. Saleh has agreed to the Gulf Plan three times, but in each case withdrew before a deal could be signed.

Opposition parties say they are working to create a national council to force Mr. Saleh out of office.

Yemeni government officials say that would be an "act of war."

Mr. Saleh has been in neighboring Saudi Arabia since June, receiving medical treatment for wounds sustained during a bomb attack on his presidential compound. Authorities in Sana'a say he is still recuperating and will return home as soon as doctors allow him to do so.

VOA News

President Saleh visits Premier's deputies

RIYADH, Aug. 11 (Saba) - President Ali Abdullah Saleh paid on Thursday visits to the Premier's deputies, who are being hospitalized in Saudi hospitals in Riyadh.
Saleh visited Premier's Deputy for Defense Affaires and Local Administration Minister Rashad al-Alimi in King Faisal Hospital and Premier's Deputy for Internal Affaires Sadeq Abu Ras in King Abdulaziz Hospital.
The president got assured of their health and congratulated them on their recovery.
Al-Alimi and Abu Ras thanked the president for his following-up their health condition, asserting that their health is in progress.
The President renewed his highly appreciation of the care he and the Yemeni officials are receiving from the Saudi leadership and the medical staffs.
Worth mentioning that President Saleh left the Military Hospital in Riyadh on Sunday, after two months of medical treatment.
The President moved to a Saudi royal hospitality residence in Riyadh for recuperation.
President Saleh and a number of senior state officials have been wounded in an attack on the Presidential Palace's Mosque occurred on June 3.