US May Be Sucked Into Yemeni Civil War

Analysts Say US May Have to Keep Yemen From Becoming a 'Failed State'

As the Yemeni government continues to reject calls for talks to end the conflict in the nation’s Shi’ite dominated north, rising numbers of displaced are creating a humanitarian crisis which and the conflict seems set to be long enough to force Yemen to seek international help.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh seems set for a protracted conflict, vowing to use the impoverished nation’s limited resources to buy weapons “instead of building schools” and to show no mercy against the Shi’ite separatists.

Still, analysts say that as the conflict continues to escalate the US risks being sucked into the nation’s civil war, if for no other reason than to prevent Yemen from becoming another failed state.

The US State Department, for its part, has been pressuring the Yemeni government to work harder to crack down on al-Qaeda‘s rising presence in the nation. But Yemen seems more focused on the clash with the Shi’ites, which it accuses of being backed by Iran (though without presenting any actual evidence to support this claim). With so many conflicts rearing their heads at once in Yemen, the US will almost certainly be asked to throw more support at them if it wants to retain them as an ally.

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.