US Presses Yemen to Counter al-Qaeda

Yemeni Govt Seems Focused on anti-Shi'ite Offensive

Warning that the security situation in the nation has “deteriorated significantly,” the US State Department is pressuring the Yemeni government to crack down on what they fear is a rising threat from al-Qaeda, cautioning “we do not want to see Yemen become another Afghanistan.”

But while the Yemeni government is no stranger to crackdowns, it has been fighting one civil war or another on and off for nearly half a century, the impoverished nation is already pumping virtually all of its resources into a brutal crackdown on a rebel movement in the Shi’ite north, and seems to have little stomach for launching another concurrent operation.

The US is reportedly growing increasingly impatient with the nation for focusing on what from the American perspective is the less pressing war, but efforts to get them to change focus have so far been met with requests for increased military aid.

But officials fear that even if the aid is provided, it will just be used against the Shi’ites. The Yemeni government has promised to continue its operations in the restive north for the forseeable future, and has blamed the rebels for the continuing conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.