Yemen: A Different Political Paradigm in Context
JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIV MACDILL AFB FL
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Dr. Roby Barretts sweeping study of Yemens 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. Whatever the immediate or tactical outcome, Dr. Barrett argues that the ultimate outcome in Yemen is most likely not in doubt. The central theme of Dr. Barretts monograph is that in Yemen, power is based on family, clan, and tribal relationships and not a national identity. Dr. Barrett builds the case that Yemen as a nation-state is a fiction that largely resides in the minds of Western bureaucrats and analysts. Central authority has been maintained only in balance with tribal, sectarian, and political groups that align with central leaders based on a system of patronage. He advises that throughout Yemens history there always have been multiple Yemens with fundamental social, cultural, and sectarian differences and to view Yemen differently creates a stumbling block in the way of developing and executing coherent policy and strategy. Lines on a map do not constitute a nation-state.
- Government and Political Science