Snap Fact #187
The 2 Part Story Of The President's Success In Yemen Is One That You REALLY Need To Know! 
Part 1
Many of our SNAP-CAPS proudly refer to President Barack Obama's courage and long range vision that serves him to have successes that are not predicted by either friends or enemies who are looking only at what is front of them. 

Because the President is thinking many moves ahead of the rest of us, it seems to some that these successes just happen by themselves - that is not true. In this realm, a recent SNAP-CAP (No. 183) is an example of hoe Mr. Obama’s long term vision is affecting our relations with China. Today we will see a less publicized situation, but one filled with more intrigue and complexity than a Hollywood thriller. Although this is a little longer than most SNAP-CAPs you really ought to read this through.

There are two fascinating aspects to this story, but first a short background about the little known country where President Obama’s vision and negotiating skills have done more for our Homeland security than the Bush administration was able to accomplish in the entire world in 8 years. 

Because of the extremely sensitive nature of this operation, little was known until the first news reports were leaked out about a new “Underwear Bomber” in early May. In short order we got the ability to connect all the dots and trace the story back to President Obama’s diplomacy and bold decisions to fight terrorism in the most clever and effective ways. 

Yemen is located in the Middle East at the Southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is its immediate neighbor to the North. The country is roughly twice the size of Wyoming. Contrary to what one might think of this small country, it has one of the largest populations on the Arabian Peninsula with over 20 million inhabitants, most of whom are Muslims and half of whom are under 15 years old. 

The country is very poor with about a quarter of the population existing below the poverty level. The average annual income is a mere $400 U.S. dollars annually. Disease and malnutrition are rampant and the majority of Yemen’s citizens are illiterate. This thumbnail gives us an idea why Yemen has been a breeding ground and haven for al Qaeda. 

Our story begins with a CNN report that a senior al Qaeda operative was killed by a CIA drone on May 6, 2012 in Yemen. Fahd al Quso was a top bad guy on our most wanted list with a $5 million price tag on his head. Among other, more recent activities, he was suspected of the bombing of the U.S. Cole 12 years ago. 
Al Qaeda members confirmed that al Quso died along with a companion identified as Fahd Lakdum. But those two are not all that has recently happened in what has been considered a basket case country. Surprisingly, more than 240 militants have been killed over the last month in Yemen including 13 last week. This result has not happened by chance. It is the result of deliberate policy approved from the President.

President Obama’s Yemen strategy has been multi-level with each tier interacting with the others to tear Qaeda up by its roots. The operation began in February of 2012. First President Obama gained the trust of the new government by helping newly elected President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi take power in a bloodless negotiated power transfer. 

The new government is committed in word and deed to rid their country of al Qaeda. President Hadi has vowed to increase the pressure on al Qaeda until they are eradicated from every Yemeni village. "Our fight against al-Qaeda will continue until the displaced citizens can return safely to their homes and terrorist operatives surrender and lay (down) their arms," Hadi said in a speech broadcast on Yemen Television.

A working plan of action was developed to seriously fight the previously untouchable and deadly al Qaeda operation in Yemen. America quietly reintroduced military advisers to bolster Yemen’s ability to fight. With America in the background, Yemeni ground forces and air power have aggressively taken the fight to the enemy. 

While the scale of U.S. on-the-ground activity against al-Qaeda is unknown, our drone attacks continue with great effect. It was reported that two Yemeni members of al-Qaeda were killed earlier this month by a missile strike that was believed to be fired from a U.S. drone. But there is more, much more.

The Defense Ministry said that 10 other suspected militants had been killed since the morning of May 6th. The ministry said that the strikes were targeting two locations: a militant hideout and a training site. More than 240 militants have been killed in April in one region alone, the security officials said. 14 more suspected al Qaeda militants were arrested in April and the government is committed to continue hunting down terrorists nationwide.

"Al Qaeda has been greatly weakened over the last two months, and we expect them to evacuate strategic positions over the next two weeks," a senior official in Abyan who is not authorized to speak to the news media told CNN on condition of anonymity. He said that 24 soldiers were killed during the same period.

Tomorrow's SNAP-CAP will connect the dots and delve into the real undercover part of this story..