It is difficult to imagine, but the situation in Yemen has gone from worse to super worse. President Abduallah Saleh was in his presidential residence when shells struck the building causing the death of 11 of his bodyguards and wounding of a dozen Yemen officials. He would up with serious wounds and had to flee to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. A Saudi official told the media; “He just landed. He’s here for medical treatment.” The real question is not so much how doctors will handle this situation as how will various cliques, tribes and military units back in Yemen respond to having the president no longer in the country. It is doubtful if Saleh can return to Yemen. So, what next?
There are several army units fighting one another. There are tribal groups fighting one another and fighting units of the army. There are protesters in the streets who want something resembling a democratic nation. There are moderate Muslims, fundamentalist Muslims and secular groups. In a nutshell, there is the potential for complete chaos and a new Somalia emerging in which no one is in charge. What then for American foreign policy?