Max Rodenbeck puts the country in perspective and argues that it needs policing, not massive military force:
Yemen is not a failed state in the manner of Somalia, and not quite yet a failing one like Afghanistan or Iraq. Al-Qaeda has built a strong base there, led by capable people who harbor the ambition to export destruction as far afield as possible.
But Yemen’s jihadists should be seen in perspective. They gained a firm toehold here precisely because the inattention of Mr. Saleh’s government allowed them to. Most likely, given proper tools and motivation, his men are capable of beating al-Qaeda back again.