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World Citizen: Yemen is a Failed State in the Making

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009

As we near the final year of the decade that brought us 9/11, it's worth recalling one lesson our experience on that date has etched with painful clarity: Failed states can become breeding grounds for violent extremists -- with devastating consequences far beyond their borders. Before 9/11, no one could have predicted that attacks concocted in remote, impoverished Afghanistan might have such a cataclysmic impact on history. Now we know that we ignore such states at our own risk. That's why remote and impoverished Yemen, a country undergoing what by all appearances is a slow-motion collapse, is likely to draw increasing attention -- and cause increasing alarm.

Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, is facing a triple assault on its precarious stability. In the face of this growing crisis, the embattled government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh is doing a less-than-stellar job of averting catastrophe. ...

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