Accession Number:

ADA582382

Title:

The Struggle for Yemen and the Challenge of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

124.0

Abstract:

In recent years, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQAP has been widely recognized as a more dangerous regional and international terrorist organization than the original al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden until his 2011 death. AQAP which Yemenis simply call al-Qaeda grew out of the original al-Qaeda group and maintains a radical outlook based heavily on bin Laden s extremist ideology. This radical group became prominent in the early 2000s when it began terrorist operations in Saudi Arabia, although it was ultimately defeated in that country. Following this defeat, AQAP retained its name and re-grouped in Yemen, merging with the local al-Qaeda organization operating there. In Yemen, AQAP was eventually able to present a strong challenge to that country s government. Over time, the group was also able to become almost totally independent of the original al-Qaeda, although it still preserves a public veneer of subordination. These developments, as well as the lessons from and future of the AQAP threat, are considered in depth in this monograph by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill. Dr. Terrill uses this monograph to explore how Yemen s Arab Spring uprising paralyzed that country s government and shattered its military into hostile factions for over a year beginning in early 2011. This prolonged crisis prevented Yemen s government, under President Ali Abdullah Saleh, from doing much more than attempting to survive. Saleh used those military units that remained loyal to him for regime protection against anti-government demonstrators and troops who defected to those demonstrators. The uprising subsequently led to a security vacuum that helped allow AQAP and its insurgent force, Ansar al-Shariah, to expand their activities beyond terrorism due to the government s preoccupation with the Arab Spring. Although AQAP and the Arab Spring demonstrators felt no kinship towards each other, AQAP was more than willing to take advantage of the disorder produced by the uprising.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE