Bombing not war?

from SCOTT SHANE and ANDREW W. LEHREN, “Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels,” New York Times, 11/28/10:

…it has been previously reported that the Yemeni government has sought to cover up the American role in missile strikes against the local branch of Al Qaeda. But a cable’s fly-on-the-wall account of a January meeting between the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the American commander in the Middle East, is nonetheless breathtaking.

“We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Mr. Saleh said, according to the cable sent by the American ambassador, prompting Yemen’s deputy prime minister to “joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament” that Yemeni forces had carried out the strikes….

later the same year…

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday the United States wanted to help Yemen battle Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the country instead of entering “another war.” Providing equipment and training to Yemeni security forces offered the best way to counter the threat posed by Al-Qaeda militants, Gates said.

“We don’t need another war,” he told a conference organized by The Wall Street Journal newspaper.

With more than 100,000 US troops fighting Al-Qaeda’s allies in Afghanistan and public skepticism in Yemen over the US military’s role there, Gates and other US officials have stressed that Sanaa will lead the fight against militants….

“Our biggest tools particularly with respect to Yemen are the partnership capacity of the Yemenis themselves, and enabling them to go after these guys,” he said.

He said the Yemenis “have shown a willingness” to take the fight to the militants….

from “US will help Yemen but no plans for ‘another war’: Gates,” Yahoo!News, 11/16/10


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