Washington- The president's administration's air and missile strikes were unsuccessful joe biden against The Houthis in Yemen To restore American deterrence, or prevent them from attacking ships in the south The Red SeaInstead of calming tension in one of the most important commercial sea lanes in the world, the military strikes exacerbated it further.
A number of experts Al Jazeera Net spoke to fear involvement United State In a broader war in the region, at a time when the Houthis do not show any signs of retreating from their declared position regarding the continuation of attacks as long as the Israeli aggression continues. Gaza strip Continuing.
And meditate Washington Its almost daily attacks will deter the Houthi group from attacking shipping lines in the Red Sea, or destroy and eliminate its missile stockpiles.
For his part, Deputy National Security Advisor John Finer defended…To the White House Regarding the Washington-led coalition strikes against the Houthis, he said, “The goals here go beyond deterrence. We seek to weaken their ability to continue launching these attacks.”
Despite the continuation of the strikes involving the British Navy, Biden admitted that they had not yet produced the desired effect. He responded to the question of one of the journalists accompanying him, “Will the Houthis stop?” He said, “No.” He answered the question, “Will they continue?” By saying: “Yes.”
In an interview with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, retired General Frank McKenzie, former head of the US Central Command, said that the US strikes are welcome, even if they are somewhat late, given the importance of Bab al-Mandab Strait.
“We may be able to deter the Houthis from continuing these actions,” McKenzie said. “There is still a lot of fighting ahead to achieve this goal, but I think we are doing the right thing.”
On Sunday, the US Army announced the killing of two Navy personnel after they disappeared 10 days ago during a naval operation to intercept weapons from Iran destined for Houthi fighters. They are among the first known American deaths in the US campaign against the Houthis.
This coincided with the publication of successive reports about the possibility that taking measures against the Houthis would fuel a broader war in… The Middle EastMcKenzie believes the threat is exaggerated.
In an interview with CNN last Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Minister said Hussein Amir Abdullahian “Since the beginning of Israel's genocidal war in Gaza, which followed the October operation, we have issued warnings that if the attacks, war crimes and genocide against Gaza andWest Bank“The war will spread widely and become larger.”
He added, “This does not mean that we wanted to play a role in this expansion. We care about maritime security and shipping safety. Our oil exports take place across the sea. Therefore, the security of the Red Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf is very important to us. We benefit from it. Otherwise, we will not be able to Export our oil.
On the other hand, Mackenzie believes that “I do not have Iran There is currently an interest in entering into a major war, because they understand in the end what will happen. They will be defeated. The system will be under extreme stress and may collapse. I do not think that Tehran “Its attacks will escalate significantly in the region because we are hitting the Houthis,” he estimated.
He continues, “Currently, this is a cheap war for them. They have waged it very effectively by shipping missiles and other lethal components to Yemen.”
For his part, security affairs expert Alexandre Langlois considered, in an article published by “The Nation” magazine, that while the Houthi strikes have continued since last November, the Biden team hopes that its step will deter them from continuing these attacks.
But he believes that the reality is more ambiguous, and Biden will fail to stop the group’s aggression while it further obstructs international shipping, as both actors are climbing an escalatory ladder that risks a broader regional war.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, the director of the Gulf States Studies Foundation, Giorgio Cafiero, considered that the Houthi conflict with the United States gives them more sympathy and support throughout the Arab world at a time when anti-Washington sentiment is rising in the region due to the Biden administration providing strong support to Israel amid the genocidal war on Gaza.
Cafiero added that the conflict with Washington enables the Houthis to better consolidate their position within the Iranian-led “axis of resistance,” and “demonstrates to Tehran the extent of the group’s connection to this anti-hegemonic alliance.”
He also pointed out that the Houthis are accustomed to war and fighting while foreign powers bomb their targets in Yemen. Hence, the Houthis spread their weapons across the country, making it increasingly difficult for the US military or any other force to eliminate their fighting capacity through air strikes.
“A single action that works”
Langlois believes that instead of continuing with failed regional policies, the United States should consider the only clear measure that will end the Houthi strikes on international shipping with a permanent ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (agitation), which will solve multiple problems facing American foreign policy if the Biden administration shows real leadership by pressuring Israel.
In a difficult election year, President Biden's aides are concerned about the possibility of escalation on the one hand, and the fear that he will appear as a weak president if he does not resort to military tools on the other hand.
Jawdat Bahjat, a professor at the Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, said for the PentagonTo Al Jazeera Net, “Washington’s military and technological superiority does not give it the ability to deter the Houthis. It has previously failed to Afghanistan“The Houthis, in one way or another, won the war in Yemen.”
He adds that the Houthis, like other militias, use asymmetric wars and tactics to confront the United States. In an election year, President Biden cannot appear weak, noting the possibility that Washington will continue to attack the Houthis, but these strikes are unlikely to stop their attacks or prevent them from taking action against Israel.