Assessing the effectiveness of the US counterterrorism assistance program to the Republic of Yemen
Nowicki, Daniel Evan.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The United States may be losing the war against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The past five years have seen an increase in sophistication and scale of terrorist attacks and the group's ideological message remains persuasive for many disenfranchised Yemenis. Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman believes that AQAP is now as much of a threat as Al Qaeda central. To confront the threat, the United States is spending more money than ever on Yemen. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Obama administration requested $106 million in military and economic assistance to Yemen for FY2011. These funds will ostensibly be used to train and equip troops against Al Qaeda, but success with the current counterterrorism assistance program remains elusive. The main question this paper seeks to answer is: what are the essential attributes of a counterterrorism assistance program? That answer is critical to improving how the United States conducts its counterterrorism program in Yemen, which could increase prospects for defeating Al Qaeda and make Americans safer.; This paper compares the US counterterrorism program in Yemen to those in Pakistan and Colombia. It measures the effectiveness of these counterterrorism programs using six factors - customized programs, high-level US political engagement, high-level US military engagement, training and equipment, government cooperation, and funding support. An analysis of these factors produces two main observations. First, only by applying all of the aforementioned factors will the United States have a chance at success. Second, intergovernmental cooperation is a precondition for a successful counterterrorism assistance program.; The author identifies two underlying causes for the failure of US counterterrorism programs: 1) the government partner's unwillingness to conduct counterterrorism operations and 2) a US government focus on crisis management instead of sustained political engagement. The paper's final chapters offer remedies to these and other issues, with the hope that implementing them can turn counterterrorism failure into success. One solution is to institute a "trust, but verify" approach with partner governments to observe counterterrorism operations, with future assistance predicated on performance. The paper concludes by offering a new path for the US counterterrorism assistance program in Yemen.
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