It’s time for the U.S. to stop thinking tactically about the Houthis in Yemen and start thinking strategically. The growing number of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea demonstrate they are now a strategic threat to America, its allies and the global economy. We must address them as such.
For the past two decades, the U.S. has dismissed the Houthis as a nuisance. Washington recoiled when the Saudis and Emiratis intervened in Yemen against them in 2015, and the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations have tried to end the fighting with minimal exertion regardless of the outcome. Americans have tended to see the civil war as a humanitarian catastrophe and a breeding ground for terrorists. Our position therefore has been that all that mattered was peace—not who won or on what terms.
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