U.S. military continues aid to Yemen 

Despite growing violence and political uncertainty in Yemen, Pentagon officials will not suspend financial military assistance to the fragile Yemeni government.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters Tuesday America wants to see a swift and peaceful transition to a new government.

“The longer it festers the more difficult it becomes," he said. "That is why this government has been urging a negotiated transition as quickly as possible.”

The Defense Department spent $150 million in 2010 to train and arm the Yemeni security forces. The goal of that investment was to help the government of  President Ali Abdullah Saleh fight al Qaeda's forces in Yemen. Defense officials asked Congress for an additional $100 million for the current fiscal year and $115.6 million in combined military and economic assistance for 2012.

On Monday, 19 opposition members were reportedly killed in clashes by government security forces. Three protesters were  killed and dozens were injured on Tuesday, according to numerous news reports from the region.

Christopher Boucek, an expert on Yemen for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Examiner in a recent interview that financial aid to Yemen must go beyond military support.

“We can’t have this all be about counterterrorism and security there are bigger issues,” he said. “We need a big picture view on this and the focus must be on the Yemeni people who face extreme poverty and lack of resources.”

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Sara A. Carter

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