March 10, 2012 - 15:22 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Pentagon is planning to restart programs that would fund military training and equipment in Yemen, nearly a year after they were shut down because of escalating chaos in the embattled country, The Associated Press reported.
While no agreements have been cemented, U.S. defense officials said as much as $75 million in military assistance could begin to flow later this year. The officials said the Pentagon and State Department are putting together a letter to send to Congress to request the aid be restarted.
The plan is in line with the Obama administration's intention to provide significant security and civilian aid to Yemen in 2012-13 as long as the Middle Eastern country continues to move toward a new government and funding is kept out of the hands of insurgents.
One senior military official said discussions have begun over how best the United States can help Yemen, which is putting a new U.S.-backed government in place. The official said it may be difficult to relaunch the counterterrorism training that was suspended about a year ago because Yemeni forces are engaged in battle with the al-Qaida-linked insurgency.
Instead, the training program could shift to focus less on fighting tactics and more on how to plan combat operations and strategize against the enemy.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decisions have been made.