Yemen: Al Qaedas Next Fortress

Terry Rydz

Abstract


For many Americans, the United States’ war with Al-Qaeda began on September 11, 2001 and focuses on the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, in the eyes of Al-Qaeda, the war against the U.S. started nine years earlier in Yemen. Al-Qaeda has never lost sight of its strong connection to Yemen and the U.S. has slowly learned a valuable lesson from this: Al-Qaeda in Yemen possesses an equal, if not greater, direct threat to the U.S. and its allies than Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan currently does.

This paper examines the rise and evolution of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Specifically, it investigates the crumbling socio-economic and political conditions in south Yemen that have allowed for Al-Qaeda to flourish there, and presents potential counter-terrorism policies the U.S. can take to undermine the group’s ability to function globally or within Yemen itself.


Keywords


international affairs, Al-Quaeda, Yemen, Afghanistan, political science

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