Many Yemenis believe that the Houthis are acting as agents of Iran, which backs them. To legitimize their rebellion, the Houthis had to come up with popular proposals to address rising energy prices and incompetence in the government. It was the poor performance of Yemen’s transitional government that allowed them to succeed.
President Hadi, and his government ”” including Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa, who just stepped down ”” failed miserably to deliver basic services, spur economic development and, most important, create jobs. Unemployment was one of the main drivers of the revolt against Mr. Saleh.
The international community should have supported Yemen to ensure its successful transition to stability and development. Instead, the international community largely turned its back on Yemen as it sank further into poverty, chaos and extremism. The United States concentrated almost solely on counterterrorism, continuing its drone strikes on Qaeda militants. Saudi Arabia turned its attention to other parts of the region, ignoring the potential chaos on its southern border.