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26 January, 2010

Words 'bout Yemen Worth Reading

I authored a post earlier this month lamenting the lack of serious discussion concerning Yemen's deteriorating security situation. Deeming it improper to not point out articles to the contrary on the rare occasions, I draw your attention to an excellent example of how we should be discussing the conflict:

"Curzon". Coming Anarchy. 26 January 2010.

Yemen is probably the most misunderstood international story in the Western mass media since… well, Uganda in September 2009. As was the case during the Uganda uprising, I believe the problem originates in the ignorance of regionalism in Yemen, or as Professor Harm J. De Blij has written time and time again: geography matters.

There are two major yet unrelated conflicts taking place in Yemen—the Sunni and Al Qaeda-linked separatist threat in the central south of the country (a major concern of the United States) and a Shia uprising in the north (alarming to the Yemenis and Saudis, possibly supported by Iran, but of little relevance to the rest of the world). And carefully distinguishing between the two is critical to keep the US out of a real quagmire.

I recommend that my readers head over to his site and read the whole thing. Curzon colors his discussion with a set of maps that are by themselves worth linking to. 


ADDENDUM: For those of you unfamiliar with Harm de Blij, I recommend his entertaining youtube channel, "Geography Matters". I have also heard much praise for his latest book, though I will admit that I have not yet read it.

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