This is not to say that Yemen is not a crucial battleground in the war on terror, or that the United States should cease to be engaged there. On the contrary, the area is vital to both regional and American security.

But Yemen provides a particularly interesting case study because it is home to the three above-mentioned primary conflicts that exist throughout the Middle East and that have nothing at all to do with Israel.

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Solving the three conflicts would do more for regional and indeed international security than any number of peace agreements between Palestinians and Israelis.

It is essential that people understand the real root causes of Middle East conflict, as demonstrated in a single country, Yemen. Many of those root causes point to something endemic within the sociological norms and culture of Arab society.

Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a think tank and policy center based in Washington. Kyle Shideler is senior research fellow at the Endowment for Middle East Truth.

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