Yemen grabbed headlines this year because of its blood-soaked uprising against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- after months of chaos, Yemenis voted his successor into office on Feb. 21. But without drawing too many headlines, the United States has also been waging a covert battle against al Qaeda havens in the country. While the United States trains Yemeni special forces soldiers, its own special forces are believed to be operating in the country in tandem with Yemen's military.
U.S. officials maintain that Yemen's domestic upheaval has not deterred counterterrorism cooperation with the Yemeni government. John Brennan, the top White House counterterrorism advisor, praised Yemen's new President Abd Rabbouh Mansur al-Hadi's commitment to "destroying" al Qaeda in a recent visit to the country.
Above, a mannequin and "crashed plane" set the scene for Orbit Comet, an anti-terrorism and force protection training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in June 2006. The exercise was designed to test local, state, and national authorities' reaction to terrorist attacks, hostage situations, the release of a lethal biological agent, and cyberterrorism.
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