by Carroll Bogert
The news that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly trained to blow up a US airliner at al Qaeda camps in Yemen has drawn sudden attention to a country that is not well known in Washington. The prospect of deeper US involvement in an Arab nation already warring with domestic rebel groups should raise a number of red flags.
The Yemeni government has a lot on its hands. For more than five years, it has been battling Huthi rebels in the mountainous north of the country, with successive ceasefires punctuated by new rounds of fighting. The United Nations estimates that more than 175,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, with reports of extreme scarcity of water and malnutrition.