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What went wrong for the U.S.-backed government in Yemen and what are the consequences for counterterrorism operations there against Al-Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate?U.S. military intervention hasn't checked the disintegration, nor has American retreat.All good ideas, but the result was the same unraveling as in other weak states.What happens to U.S. counterterrorism efforts against AQAP, now that our Yemeni partner has collapsed?The administration's strategy, strange as it may sound, is more of the same: U.S. officials believe, correctly, that real progress won't be possible in Yemen without a new government that reconciles the Houthi minority with the dominant Sunni population. In the short run, policy is driven by one of those amoral Middle East syllogisms: America and the Houthis both hate Al-Qaeda, so maybe we can work together.I can offer a well-researched answer by analysts at the Rand Corp. Simply put, their conclusion is that the U.S. strategy of security assistance doesn't seem to work in the frail Arab states that need it most.Arming weak states such as Yemen doesn't make them stronger.
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