Tags: pentagon | yemen | aid | military | weapons

Pentagon: Yemen Aid — $500M in Weapons, Equipment — Whereabouts Unknown

Image: Pentagon: Yemen Aid — $500M in Weapons, Equipment — Whereabouts Unknown
Night Vision Goggles. (Tamas Kovacs/EPA/Landov, file)  

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:07 AM

The Pentagon has reportedly lost track of the more than $500 million in military aid to Yemen, and officials fear American weapons, aircraft, and equipment area at risk of being seized by al-Qaida terrorists or Iranian-supported rebels.

Since the United States closed its embassy in the country's capital of Sanaa in February and withdrew many of its many of its military advisers, the defense department has not been able to track equipment such as small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles, and other supplies, The Washington Post reported.

"We have to assume it's completely compromised and gone," a legislative aide speaking anonymously told The Post. Another defense said, "Even in the best-case scenario in an unstable country, we never have 100-percent accountability."

Yemen was overrun by Shi'ite rebels connected to Iran in February, leading to the shutdown of the U.S. Embassy because of security concerns, according to the Marine Corps Times.

The confusion in Yemen comes at a time when the Obama administration was hoping to hold up the country as a successful example of its terrorism strategy — training and equipping foreign militaries to fight insurgents in their own countries instead of using U.S. troops.

Congressmen, such as U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry —chair of the House Armed Services Committee — told The Post that Yemen's state has proven the administration's strategy has been a mixed bag at best.

"The administration really wanted to stick with this narrative that Yemen was different from Iraq, that we were going to do it with fewer people, that we were going to do it on the cheap," Thornberry said. "They were trying to do with a minimalist approach because it needed to fit with this narrative . . . that we're not going to have a repeat of Iraq."

The New York Times reported Monday that Houthi rebels released Yemen's former prime minister Khaled Bahah and members of his cabinet from house arrest after nearly two months in hopes that the situation there may reaching a turning point.

The rebels are demanding political reforms in the Yemen government, which has been supportive of the United States and efforts to hunt terrorists, noted The Times.

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The Pentagon has reportedly lost track of the more than $500 million in military aid to Yemen, and officials fear American weapons, aircraft, and equipment area at risk of being seized by al-Qaida terrorists or Iranian-supported rebels.
pentagon, yemen, aid, military, weapons
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2015-07-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:07 AM
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