The 1962 revolution in Yemen and its impact on the foreign policies of the U.A.R. and Saudi Arabia.
The 1962 revolution in Yemen represented the attempt
of trained officers in the regular army to shake off their inferior
position and assume the political relevancy they felt entitled to.
Externally, they were reasonably sure of Egyptian intervention on
their behalf. Internally, they perceived an erosion of support for
the Imamic regime which led them to anticipate massive popular
following for the revolution once it broke out.
After Syria's secession in September 1961 the
U.A.R. enacted a hard-line anti-reactionary role. Saudi Arabia
adopted an anti-Socialist role. A situation of confrontation
ensued. When the Yemeni revolution broke out relations between
Egypt and Saudi Arabia were worse than ever before.
President Nasser perceived the revolution as a
progressive, popular pro-Egyptian movement which was threatened
by a concerted Imperialist-reactionary effort. As political
support proved insufficient, President Nasser dispatched arms
and advisers. This in turn was not enough and combat troops were
sent. In one month the number of Egyptian troops in Yemen jumped
from one hundred to an estimated four thousand.
King Sand perceived the revolution as an Egyptian engineered
mutiny which would give Egypt a foothold on the Arabian
Peninsula and encourage subversion. He classified it as a threat
to Saudi Arabia. Political support to the Royalists was deemed
insufficient. The commitment of troops was neither practicable
nor desirable. Saudi Arabia intervened by subsidizing the Royalists,
supplying them with arms and allowing them to use Saudi territory.
The first part of this study analyzes the Imamic
regime and the revolution that destroyed it. The second part deals
with past relations among Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The third
and fourth parts examine, respectively, the Egyptian and Saudi