Unsatisfied with reforms proposed by President Saleh of Yemen in the wake of popular protests against his government, the U.S. is negotiating a transition of power that would usher in Saleh's successor. The issue is sensitive because protesters say they will not accept any successor from the current president's inner circle of advisors. "While American officials have not publicly pressed Mr. Saleh to go, they have told allies that they now view his hold on office as untenable, and they believe he should leave." At stake for the U.S. is a foreign government willing to support military operations against Al Qaeda cells operating within Yemen's borders.