When protests inspired by uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia hit
Yemen in 2011, the United States and the United Kingdom, the regime’s main
backers, at first pooh-poohed the protestors’ grievances. Only after anger over
the endemic corruption and the economy split Yemeni President Ali Abdullah
Saleh’s regime in two, sparking street battles between regime loyalists and Sunni
military and tribal fighters, did Yemen’s foreign partners start to worry. Fearing
Somalia-like chaos that would be...