New POMED Policy Brief: Achieving Long-Term Stability in Yemen: Moving Beyond Counterterrorism
In POMED’s latest policy brief, Atiaf Alwazir argues that the United States should be utilizing this historic moment in Yemeni politics to shift its policy from a narrow focus on counterterrorism to a wider range of economic and political support.
With a new president in power, Yemen has the opportunity to fundamentally restructure its political and military system, but multiple obstacles stand in its path. The Yemeni military remains a disjointed body split by corrupt and self-serving officials, many of whom are supported by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. With its counterterrorism-based ties to the Yemeni security sector, the U.S. appears reluctant to forgo these relationships for a reform process. Alwazir argues, however, that the United States’ counterterrorism efforts have been counterproductive and have provided fuel for terrorist groups’ recruitment efforts. To achieve true long-term stability, the U.S. should focus on providing economic support and development, encouraging fundamental restructuring of the Yemeni military, tying military aid to this restructuring process, and recalibrating the U.S-Yemeni relationship to be less military-centric.
Atiaf Alwazir is a Yemeni-American researcher and development consultant with ten years of experience working with civil society organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, where she implements programs related to social justice and blogs at womanfromyemen. She is currently working on several assignments in research and her work has been featured in several outlets including Arab Reform Initiative, Foreign Policy, and Jadaliyya.