A policy dictated by the punctuated, unpredictable rhythm of terrorism is not likely to create a long-term, stable Yemen that aligns with U.S. interests or values. The United States has not been a patron of Yemeni democratization. Nor has it been a major donor of socioeconomic or humanitarian aid to combat grinding poverty or catastrophic ecological degradation. To the contrary, America has turned a blind eye to both human rights and human needs. The current policy of ignoring acute social, economic, and political problems while bolstering special operations forces, offering satellite surveillance, and rationalizing extrajudicial executions might possibly net a few terrorist suspects but will not stabilize the country, encourage the democratic opposition, or advance the rule of law.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Veteran Yemen specialist Sheila Carapico has a piece today on Foreign Policy's Middle East Channel criticizing the focus of US policy toward Yemen almost entirely on counterterrorism. Read it all, but here's a sample: