Rethinking US Policy Toward Yemen

Join the Atlantic Council and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) on March 26 for a panel discussion looking at US policy towards Yemen.

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As Yemen’s political transition moves forward with the start of its National Dialogue, the country’s leaders continue to struggle with a humanitarian crisis, a foundering economy, and ongoing instability and violence. These challenges not only hamper Yemen’s transition, they also threaten key American interests: stability in the Arabian Peninsula, the disruption of terrorist networks, secure waterways, and the flow of oil. If the Obama administration is to foster a stable, secure, and sustainable partner in Yemen, it must move beyond its current counterterrorism approach and embrace a long-term strategy that prioritizes helping the Yemeni government address the very factors that allow extremist ideology and instability to spread: the absence of basic social services, a worsening food shortage, and chronic unemployment. The US government has made some positive changes in the last four years, but more can and must be done to set US policy on the right course.

The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and POMED lead the Yemen Policy Initiative, which calls on the Obama administration to reevaluate US policy in Yemen and to prioritize long-term investments in political, economic, and human development in order to promote stability in Yemen and protect US security interests. At the event, the initiative will release a letter to President Obama outlining policy recommendations, with support from a diverse group of foreign policy experts including former diplomats, analysts, and journalists.

Hafez al Bukari is director of the Yemen Polling Center, a Sana’a based research institution that conducts survey research on a broad range of issues including projects for the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the US Embassy. Steven Heydemann, a political scientist specializing in the comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East, serves as senior adviser for Middle East Initiatives at USIP. Danya Greenfield, who coleads the Yemen Policy Initiative, is deputy director of the Rafik Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council, and Stephen McInerney, coleading the initiative at POMED, will moderate the discussion.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Choate Room, 1st floor)
1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A discussion with

Hafez al Bukari
Yemen Polling Center

Steven Heydemann
Senior Adviser for Middle East Initiatives
US Institute for Peace

Danya Greenfield
Deputy Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Moderated by

Stephen McInerney
Executive Director
Project on Middle East Democracy