What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yemen

Just a quick unloading of two links to Yemen-related reading. Not much in-depth to offer from me here (rather, interesting stuff is there from the authors of the two referenced pieces).
Here is the story of Sayid Imam al-Sharif. He worked as a doctor in Yemen for a while, before he was arrested there and extradited to Egypt, with already quite an interesting story behind him, which was to take more of a turn in Egypt.
And then here is the story of Anwar al-Awlaki, American-born Salafi preacher in Yemen, the guy to whom the Fort Hood attacker had links - also worth a read.
Just a glimpse into the complexity and the diversity that there is, in a place that some now, apparently, want to do something about.
Now, reacting to that Huffington Post piece I just linked to, if escalating and de-escalating would happen in the way the title of the article suggests...
Should one deescalate whenever somebody does something somewhere outside one's current area of escalation?
And can "escalate" entail only the introduction of U.S. ground troops somewhere? Or will the already happening air strikes and proxy involvement do in Yemen?
And would "re-escalate" (if that is thought of as an option) entail first throwing away Afghanistan (again) and then going back there to do state-building with someone again if somebody again, say, happens to "pick up explosives there?"
And...
Etc.
Update: do stop by to read the story of "Khalid the jihadi" @ Rolling Stones, too.
Related (much) more to the current events, read Gregory D. Johnsen and Brian O'Neill's blog - and also, as especially interesting, this post by Johnsen from before this month' air strikes were carried out by the U.S., and from before the subsequent attack of the Nigerian wannabe plane-bomber. Johnsen's argument there was that we were seeing a repeat of the 2001-2002 cycle of U.S. involvement which turned out to be quite successful back then, but may hardly prove successful now, with AQAP's (al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's) much deeper entrenchment there. Its prediction was spot on, and now there is also deviation from the original pattern given that the coming air strikes were more destructive, that there were civilian casualties and much more of an outcry in Yemen, plus, as you will all know, that there was an attempt by AQAP at retaliating within the U.S. homeland.

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