Who are the Houthis? Inside America’s Undeclared Air War

The Houthis continue to attack commercial vessels in the Red Sea amid Israel’s assault in Gaza. This Yemen-based political and military organization says its disruption of international shipping is a response to Western support for Israel. It likely also hopes its attacks will revitalize flailing domestic support within war-torn Yemen.

The United States is no stranger to the Houthis. Since the start of Yemen’s civil war in 2014, Washington has backed a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed organization. More recently, the United States has launched airstrikes against the Houthis to try to deter future Red Sea attacks — though President Biden acknowledges the bombing to be ineffective.

In this episode of None of the Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah sits down with Alexandra Stark to help us better understand the Houthis, the illogic of America’s approach to Yemen, and the lessons for dealing with the Houthis in the future. Alexandra Stark is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on Middle East security and cooperation. Prior to that she was a senior researcher at New America. Her book, The Yemen Model: Why US Policy Has Failed in the Middle East is set for release in April by Yale University Press.

Listen Here: Apple Podcasts | Amazon MusicLibsyn | Radio Public | Soundcloud | Spotify | RSS

This post is part of None Of The Above, a podcast of IGA hosted by senior fellow Mark Hannah.

A brighter future for all