Yemen's failing economy and diminishing oil supply, combined with rising popular protests against the president, have placed the country in a tenuous position.
After decades of apparent stability, recent popular uprisings in the Arab world have changed the regional landscape dramatically. From Egypt to Libya, the region seems to face dramatic and varied political change and challenge.
The feelings of optimism and hope that accompanied the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have recently been mixed with concern over the course of events in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and other countries.
Despite the Egyptian revolution’s historic scope and achievements thus far, building a democratic and transparent society free from authoritarianism and corruption will require both reconstruction and institutional reform.
While Yemen has become a haven for al-Qaida, it is also a quiet U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism. Now its ruler of more than 30 years is under pressure from demonstrators, his generals, and diplomats to step aside.
As Egyptians move toward a referendum on suggested amendments to the country’s constitution, the country faces an opportunity for the first time in its history to write a constitution its citizens want rather than one drafted for them by deeply entrenched incumbents.
The Egyptian constitutional reform committee appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced several proposed revisions to Egypt's constitution on February 26. On March 19, Egyptians will vote in a referendum concerning these amendments.
Even if Egypt succeeds in holding completely free presidential and parliamentary elections, there is no way for the country to make a transition to real democracy if its internal security services resume their pre-January 25 mode of operation.
With revolutionary change sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa and violence erupting in Libya, U.S. policy toward the region is quickly evolving.
As regional and international opinion moves in favor of supporting the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey should all participate in its implementation.