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Yemen is Even More Dangerous Than We Think

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Originally posted on Political Violence @ a Glance:

By Barbara F. Walter and Kenneth M. Pollack

A man displaced by the war between Houthis and the former Yemeni government walks with his camel in northwest Yemen. By IRIN. A man displaced by the war between Houthi forces and the former Yemeni government walks with his camel in northwest Yemen. By IRIN.

People think Yemen is dangerous to United States because of terrorists and civil war. They are wrong. Yemen is dangerous because it could potentially destabilize Saudi Arabia.

That’s a provocative statement but also accurate. By itself, Yemen is far less important to the United States than most countries in the Middle East. True, a lengthy civil war could eventually bring the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda or the Iranian allied Houthi to power. True, a civil war could fragment the country, creating a lengthy period of chaos and instability, allowing even more extremists to thrive. But the fact remains: Yemen will never be of great strategic importance to the United States because it is weak and poor and…

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