Politics and the Soviet Presence in the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
Internal Vulnerabilities and Regional Challenges
Since its independence in 1967, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) has posed various challenges to the conservative pro-Western states of the Arabian peninsula, and thus, indirectly, to the United States. This Note describes the evolution of the PDRY's internal political and economic situation and discusses its relations with other states in the region and with the Soviet Union. It also discusses potential changes in the PDRY's relationships with the Soviet Union and with the conservative Arab states and analyzes various U.S. options in relation to the PDRY. The United States can play a background role: U.S. policies that enhance the conservative Arab states' sense of security will contribute to greater rigor in their dealings with the PDRY. In addition to strengthening the PDRY's neighbors, the United States might, in the proper circumstances, consider playing a subsidiary role in the South Arabian detente itself.