Trouble in Yemen

My old friend Christopher Boucek has a paper out on the crisis (crises?) in Yemen over at Carnegie :Yemen: Avoiding a Downward Spiral.

A confluence of looming challenges—economic ruin, an emerging water shortage, violent extremism, and a growing secessionist movement—threaten to overwhelm the Yemeni government, provide a breeding ground for terrorists, and destabilize the region. Yemen has survived past crises but the current risks are unprecedented.


Chris highlights political problems (poor governance, the regrouping of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, etc.) as well as socio-economic-geographic ones, such as water scarcity, Qat cash-crop agriculture, the fall in oil income to give a bird's eye view of a complicated, dangerous yet largely ignored situation in Yemen.

The Economist this week highlighted the situation there, headlining its article "The World's Next Failed State?".

Also worth following on Yemen are Brian Whitaker's blog (he is the author of a book on Yemen), Waq al-Waq, a blog by Yemen hands Gregory Johnsen and Brian O'Neill (O'Neill also has this piece in the current ARB), the Yemen page of The Empty Quarter. blog and the personal blog of Yemeni journalist Nasser al-Arrabyee.