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Yemen crises & int’l players

Irfan Jamali
Conceptual thinking is important, but in the real world, it is resource curse that wins in any clash between a given set of concepts and the ability to actually to implement them. It is only when programs are defined in terms of resources that they come to be defined in practical terms. Saudi-Yemen conflict has its roots in the failure of the political transition that was supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an uprising that forced its longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to Mr. Hadi, his deputy, in November 2011. In the recent past, this difference between foreign and domestic policy was easier to make, but contemporary politics and globalization have distorted the line between what is foreign and what is domestic. Rational choice theory is used to model human decision making, especially in the context of microeconomics, where it helps economists better understand the behavior of a society in terms of individual actions as explained through rationality, in which choices are consistent because they are made according to personal preference (RCT serves only Pakistani episode in the event). KSA demanded PM Nawaz Sharif to send its forces to join in Yemen-Saudi border as Saudi was deciding to step in Yemen territory. This was a difficult step for PM of Pakistan that Pakistan has a handsome count of Shiite sect in the country and also in Parliament, opposition party that contains majority of Shias. PM has fruitful relations with Saudi monarchs in term of family relations and long-lasting business activities. If the Pakistani forces join at Saudi border in Yemen, then there were maximum chances that PM would lose its government because opposition party in not going to bear this decision. PM decided to send this issue in the Parliament house. It found many debates in electronic and print media that Pakistan should not take a side as Pakistan needs good relations with KSA, Iran and Yemen. So, Pakistan decided to stay neutral and offered to both Iran and KSA as mediator in this issue. Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr. Hadi’s government. The coalition received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France. There’s only one problem: The Houthis are not Hezbollah and, despite their publicly expressed sympathies for the Islamic Republic, have not developed a similarly tight relationship with Tehran. Yet the combined efforts of Washington and its Gulf allies could still drive the Houthis into Tehran’s arms. If Yemenis take control over Yemen and succeeded in making a legitimate government then Yemen may declare itself as a sister state of Iran and Iran has mussels to chowk supply rout of petroleum in Red sea and Persian Gulf.
Until now, and apart from Tehran’s strong pro-Houthis rhetoric, very little hard evidence has turned up of Iranian support to the Houthis. There has been evidence of some small arms shipments and, likely, military advice from Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard officers, who may have helped the Houthis in firing missiles into Saudi territory and targeting Saudi vessels in the Red Sea. Meanwhile, U.S. and British military and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition exceeds by many factors any amount of support the Houthis have received from Tehran. Saudi Arabia has become to the Houthis what Israel has long been to Hezbollah.
The Trump administration may view Yemen as an opportune area to demonstrate its resolve to counter Iranian assertiveness without triggering a larger war across the Middle East. In Syria, by contrast, the United States is single-mindedly focused on the Islamic State rather than the Assad regime’s depredations against its own people; more forceful action against Iran or its proxies there would carry greater risks, given Iran’s alliance with Russia. Washington might thus see increased military support for the Saudi-led coalition and even direct strikes against Houthi assets in Yemen as a strong, low-cost message to Tehran. It would certainly be greeted with delight by Saudi Arabia, whose deputy crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, has staked his reputation on winning the war, and its ally the United Arab Emirates. These states may hope that with U.S. backing they can defeat the Houthi-Saleh alliance, or at least compel it to make significant concessions at the negotiating table.
If Trump rushes diving into the Yemeni war, there is a very real risk that the conflict will twisting out of control. U.S. counterterrorism partners in Yemen have not capitalized on anti-AQAP tribal mobilization. Tribal militias mobilized against AQAP in Shabwah governorate in southeastern Yemen in order to prevent U.S. air strikes in their communities. AQAP agreed with Yemeni tribal leaders to decline conducting external attacks in order to limit Western intervention in Yemen. Russia may be able to seize the initiative to advance political negotiations in Yemen by exploiting the opportunity created by a lagging UN-led peace process and a impasse on the ground. A Russian-brokered settlement will place American interests in the region at risk and is unlikely to resolve underlying political grievances.

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