WASHINGTON (AP) — For two years, the Obama administration has had a relationship of convenience with Yemen: The U.S. kept the Yemeni government armed and flush with cash. In return, Yemen's leaders helped fight al-Qaida or, as often, looked the other way while the U.S. did.
That relationship is about to get a lot less convenient.
Of all the uprisings and protests that have swept the Middle East this year, none is more likely than Yemen to have immediate damaging effects on U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Yemen is home to al-Qaida's most active franchise, and as President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government crumbles, so does Washington's influence there.