Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, is an expert in Yemeni politics. Tonight at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Carapico will discuss the protracted Yemeni Civil War and its possible ramifications in the broader Middle East. In the brief Q&A below, Carapico gives a short primer on the current political situation in Yemen.
In your academic career, what was it that first led you to an interest in Yemen?
I had studied abroad in Egypt as an undergraduate and begun learning Arabic. North Yemen fascinated me because of the paucity of Western influence; it was never colonized, and looked like an unusual development trajectory. At the same time, it was strikingly under-researched.
What do you envision for the Yemeni Civil War in 2018? How likely is it that the change in Saudi leadership and U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia will have an effect?
If Prince Muhammad bin Salman becomes king, he is likely to continue the war in hopes of being able to declare a clear victory, although this seems unlikely.
What are the risks if the conflict continues to drag on?
The risks in large parts of Yemen include the spread of famine and disease amid total economic collapse. There’s at least some chance that if the war drags on without a clear victory, some Saudis and Emiratis will express concerns about the wisdom of their leadership.
What significance do you think the Yemeni Civil War will have in the broader Gulf region in the years to come?
The environmental consequences of bombing Yemen could potentially reverberate elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Further, warfare’s contribution to climate change is not confined by national boundaries.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff