1. #1

    Saudi war in Yemen impossible to win

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...war-yemen.html

    The Saudi war in Yemen is increasingly becoming an impossible war to win. With the death toll of Yemeni citizens reaching thousands and the near devastation of the country, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir can only write off the rising body count as casualties of war while assuring his audiences that Saudi weapons are precise in reaching their targets.

    The Saudi military intervention may have reached a dead end six months after it started, despite announced victories in Aden and other southern Yemeni territories. The brief return of exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to Aden in September on a Saudi airplane was meant to mark a symbolic Saudi momentary victory rather than an important turn signaling an undisputed positive outcome. The Saudi war on Yemen is not an inevitable war of self-defense forced on the leadership by Houthi expansion inside Saudi Arabia and undermining Saudi national security. Instead, it was a pre-emptive strike to inaugurate an aggressive Saudi regional foreign policy.

    Civilian casualties are very high on the Yemeni side, while the Arab Coalition forces, mainly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are just beginning to experience the high human cost of war. In Saudi Arabia, the war claimed the lives of military personnel on the Saudi-Yemen border following retaliatory shelling by the Houthis and attacks inside Yemen. The war is bound to raise questions about the ability of Saudi Arabia to eliminate the Houthis and the influence of their backers on the Arabian Peninsula, namely Iran. Rather than undermining those pledges, Saudi fatalities have become part of the government’s nationalistic propaganda that the pre-emptive strike was necessary to avoid such outcomes. The war has led to what the Saudi leadership actually warned against in justifying it, even before the Houthis attacked Saudi territories. However, instead of a swift victory in Yemen, Saudis are now being killed inside their own country while their troops inside Yemen have been targeted in devastating attacks, such as the one in Marib in early September, when 10 Saudi soldiers were killed.

    Victory in a regional war fought by airstrikes under a vague coalition, a limited number of ground troops from several countries and local Yemeni militias do not seem to be on the immediate horizon. The international military coalition the Saudis hoped for turned out to be only a mini-consortium of countries willing to participate. The Saudi war turned into a Saudi-Emirati alliance with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries reluctantly supporting it. Oman was the only GCC country refusing to take part in the bombing. Qatar and Kuwait expressed support with only the former contributing ground troops. In addition to the UAE's very active role, Bahrain wholeheartedly backed Saudi leadership as the war narrative against Iran fits very well with the Bahraini regime’s objective of dubbing its own uprising as an Iranian conspiracy.

    It seems premature to announce a Saudi victory, considering that the official immediate objective of the war is to free the city of Sanaa from Houthi control and restore Hadi to the presidential palace. The Saudis are perhaps unclear about the post-war future of Yemeni politics should they reclaim Sanaa from the Houthis. They can only hope to install a loyal Yemeni government with the ability to keep the Houthis under control, especially in the northern parts of Yemen.

    The worst-case scenario for Saudi Arabia is perhaps the possibility of the war turning into a prolonged military engagement that may perpetuate a long Yemeni civil war, backed by selected regional and international players, alongside the one that has been raging in Syria since 2011. This will no doubt drain Saudi resources and undermine the domestic objectives of the war, namely the consolidation of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud’s monarchy, the projection of military might, the appeasement of jihadis and Islamists, and the consolidation of a Saudi militarized religious nationalism.

    A prolonged war risks damaging the Saudi leadership and unleashing domestic dissidence if the number of Saudi casualties increases. The forces that had supported the war inside the country, such as the Islamists, may lose their patience and return to opposition politics. They may start seeking rewards from the Saudi leadership in return for their enthusiasm for the war and their support for Salman. The king can come under pressure to honor this support with concessions of some kind.

    The semblance of Saudi victory in Yemen may also come with al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS) gains; both may consolidate their control over parts of Yemen. It is not clear how the Saudi leadership will deal with militants gaining control of parts of Yemen. There is also no announced plan for reconstruction and power-sharing in a country that has been characterized by a strong society and weak state. Despite Yemen’s poverty, multiple forces have always challenged the state and curbed its ability to rule over vast territories.

    A second scenario that is more likely if the war continues is turning the current de facto partition of Yemen into a permanent de jure arrangement. The divisions in Yemen will not be along the north-south lines as it used to be, but between multiple players, each of which controls specific territories. These will include the forces of the Houthis, deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, exiled President Hadi, the southern separatists, al-Qaeda and IS. Many of these forces will seek foreign patrons to consolidate territorial gains. Those seeking Saudi patronage without clear and imminent victories on the horizon will drain the country and its resources or switch allegiance to a competing external power — a not-uncommon strategy in Yemen. Deposed President Saleh, who is now fighting against the Saudis, had been a loyal ally of Saudi Arabia for decades before he switched allegiance and became a Houthi supporter. The shifting alliances of Yemeni domestic politics will no doubt become troublesome should the war last longer.

    A final, more lasting, but unlikely, outcome of this war in the short term would be a unified, federal Yemen in which peace is restored and power-sharing is achieved. The complexity of the Yemeni situation and multiplicity of political actors, coupled with the polarization and sectarianism in the Arab world, will exhaust the Saudi leadership’s ability to forge a quick and acceptable resolution in Yemen. It is unlikely that Salman will be able to orchestrate an agreement such as the one that ended 17 years of civil war in Lebanon under what became known as the Taif Agreement.

    As the Saudi regime is now fully entrenched in domestic and complex Yemeni politics, it may find that its own war objectives do not actually result in a stable Yemen on its southern borders. The war looks like it is going to be a long adventure, leading possibly to nothing but more destruction.
    I can agree with much of the article. At this point it alarmingly looks like Yemen might turn into another Syria. But this is not a regional conflict (at least it shouldn't be), it was not primarly about Iran striving to gain more dominance in the region. This was from the start a local issue, caused by problems with scessionist tribal groups which date back half a century, regional divides, and the marginalization felt by Houthis.

    It is unlikely that Iran was that involved with the Houthis in the first place, due to the ideological differences between the two, as they subscribe to different sects of Shia Islam, which has always been a hindrance for consolidating the ties between the two. While Iran has clearly been giving some financial support to them, the direct support has been greatly exaggerated. The Houthis have in many ways been more closely connected to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president of Yemen, and his Sunni crew. Iran has indeed been very active in Syria and Iraq, but in Yemen it's aid has been quite insignificant.

    Attacking Yemen will only add fuel to the fire and create more extremism. The Saudi coalition has lost the war Yemen.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Exception View Post
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...war-yemen.html



    I can agree with much of the article. At this point it alarmingly looks like Yemen might turn into another Syria. But this is not a regional conflict (at least it shouldn't be), it was not primarly about Iran striving to gain more dominance in the region. This was from the start a local issue, caused by problems with scessionist tribal groups which date back half a century, regional divides, and the marginalization felt by Houthis.

    It is unlikely that Iran was that involved with the Houthis in the first place, due to the ideological differences between the two, as they subscribe to different sects of Shia Islam, which has always been a hindrance for consolidating the ties between the two. While Iran has clearly been giving some financial support to them, the direct support has been greatly exaggerated. The Houthis have in many ways been more closely connected to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president of Yemen, and his Sunni crew. Iran has indeed been very active in Syria and Iraq, but in Yemen it's aid has been quite insignificant.

    Attacking Yemen will only add fuel to the fire and create more extremism. The Saudi coalition has lost the war Yemen.
    Yemen is a funny situation. on one hand you got the Saudis over-exaggerating Iran's involvement with the Houthis in order to get the regional support they need to attack Yemen. on the other hand you got Iran, who only stands to benefit from such exaggerations.

    The tension between the Saudis and Houthis dates back far back. it's not an issue that a few Iranian arms shipments or financial aids could've caused, Houthis have vast support across Yemen, Saleh too has had support among Yemen's military. that's why they succeeded in the first place, it wasn't because of some "Iranian shipments" it was because many elite commanders in Yemen were still loyal to Saleh, and Houthis having popular support among the people.

    so how can the Saudis justify attacking Yemen to re-install their puppet government? they turn Iran into a boogeyman and start a fear-mongering campaign. well, Iran only sits to benefit from this over-exaggeration.

    how? the war on Yemen is draining the Saudis, as the war continues on Saudi image in the region and the world will begin to deteriorate. if anything Iran LOVES the Yemen conflict to drag on as long as possible, so that the high cost of this conflict can drain Saudi's reserves even further, the oil prices are not helping Saudis cause either, combine that with the casualties inflicted on the Saudis and the pressure on it's troops. Saudi troops btw do not have much experience invading another country and getting engaged in long wars. the Saudis are trying to copy US's aggresive military intervention policies and failing bad at it.

    All the while Iran can clean Syria and Iraq up with the help of Russians, Hezbollah, Syrians and Iraqis. should Saudi Arabia succeeded in defeating the Houthis quickly they could've grown bolder and resorted to more direct intervention in Syria, but it seems all they can do is bomb cities and hope to hit the rebels. in that case they are no better than Bashar Assad.

  3. #3
    High Overlord cric's Avatar
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    Saudi attacks on yemen have mostly been virtually useless in fighting back the rebels. much better progress was seen when outsiders weren't involved in this. there is nothing saudis or other gulf countries can gain from this anymore, it is only creating resentment and i can see yemenis trying to revenge this in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Acidbaron View Post
    ISIS or zionism both aim for the same thing

  4. #4
    Deleted
    I just dont care anymore tbh.

    That entire region is just doomed.

  5. #5
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by Deruyter View Post
    I just dont care anymore tbh.

    That entire region is just doomed.
    Sometimes I say the same about the whole Israel thing just sack the territorys and give them full citizen rights if you won't ever allow two states anyway....
    If the Status quo is the worst possible outcome well even the bad solution is preferable.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Deruyter View Post
    I just dont care anymore tbh.

    That entire region is just doomed.
    I know Deruyter. I think they're all too stubborn and stupid. If they stopped fighting for a minute they might realize that they could have much better lives if they just made peace and relaxed a little.

    Instead they just want to fight and hate each other. I feel sorry for all the innocent people over there.

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