Get Familiar with Yemen

Because we'll be hearing its name a lot more often...

Posted:
 

The US Embassy in Yemen has been closed. Secretary Clinton has called Yemen a global threat. The Economist thinks they see something that stinks of Afghanistan

In the wake of the bombing attempt on Christmas day, everyone's boning up on Yemen, and some are getting eager to act. The Washington Post goes so far as to say ground troops are not needed "for now". Wonderful. Here I was thinking that invading another Arab and Muslim country would not be a good thing, but now I learn that it's just not a good thing quite yet.Marc Lynch has a sane response; Yemen is complicated, tribal, mountain and desert, barely misruled by Ali Abdullah Saleh, with two conflicts (southern separatism and the Houthi rebellion) on the boil at the same time, which America did not even need to invade to create. You don't have to be Noam Chomsky to think that over-reacting with a major influx of troops or spies or Predator attacks could easily create awful unintended consequences.

So is Yemen a new quagmire?