The Growing Yemeni-American Ties: Constraints for the Big and Opportunities for the Small
The Yemeni-American ties are growing steadily and currently enjoying the best of times. The security dimension has always dominated the relationship between the two sides. But since the political crisis in the country in 2009, Washington started engaging in the Yemeni internal politics. This engagement reached its peak in 2011, when the US announced strong commitment towards the success of the political transition and President Hadi, who, in turn, rushed towards Washington and put invested his money towards this engagement. This growing US presence in Yemen, coupled by an equally committed European stand towards Sana’a, puts constraints on the role and policy of the two major regional powers: Saudi Arabia and Iran. The current transitional phase, which is critical for the future of the country, experienced a decline of the Saudi role in Yemen in favor of the Western role. As much as this development makes Yemen a field for strategic competition between Washington and Tehran, surely it is still overwhelming for Iran. Although a strong relationship between Sana’a and Washington imposes constraints on Riyadh and Tehran, this relationship has more advantages han the rest of the small countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Beside the political gains represented by reducing the Saudi influence on Yemen and the affairs of the Arabian Peninsula, the strong Yemeni-American ties contribute to the decline of security dangers represented by instability in Yemen and Tehran’s efforts to bring the country under its influence, as well as more economic opportunities and a stable market.