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Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm in Context

Dr. Roby Barrett’s sweeping study of Yemen’s historical legacy and its current social, economic, and political systems is essential reading for all who would seek to understand the challenges to U.S. security interests in southern Arabia and reassess current U.S. strategy in light of recent turmoil there. Knowledge of the political, economic, social, and cultural […]

  • Roby C. Barrett
  • 1-933749-57-1
  • United States Dept. of Defense
Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm in Context
3.4 (68.57%) 7 vote[s]
Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm in Context
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  • overview

    Dr. Roby Barrett’s sweeping study of Yemen’s historical legacy and its current social, economic, and political systems is essential reading for all who would seek to understand the challenges to U.S. security interests in southern Arabia and reassess current U.S. strategy in light of recent turmoil there. Knowledge of the political, economic, social, and cultural context is fundamental to the development of a realistic counterinsurgency strategy based on the possible and affordable as opposed to the ideological or theoretical. The central theme of Dr. Barrett’s monograph is that in Yemen, power is based on family, clan, and tribal relationships and not a national identity. The insights provided in Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm In Context plus recent events in Yemen suggest that the time is ripe to reconsider U.S. approaches toward Yemen. Dr.Barrett suggests that Yemen cannot be transformed. Good governance, as Western nations would define it, is most likely unachievable. Our policy must deal with multiple Yemens with conflicting  historical, political, economic, and cultural heritages. These are Yemens with identities and values hinged upon familial, clan, and tribal loyalties. Dr. Barrett, however, argues that while Yemen may be a failed state, it is not  a failed society. This suggests that U.S. policy goals for addressing the root causes of instability and improving governance will have to reach beyond the  central government and weak institutions to engage tribes and clans and to achieve a balance among the multiple Yemens that are in virtual continuous conflict. Dr. Barrett suggests that perhaps the only improvement possible in Yemen is a fluid equilibrium between the various groups and whoever dominates the government in Sana’a, a situation that may in fact mirror in many respects the future for other areas including Afghanistan.

  • details
    • Roby C. Barrett
    • 1-933749-57-1
    • United States Dept. of Defense
    • 20011
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