Houthis doing Israel's work for it

Joe Biden  credit: Shutterstock
Joe Biden credit: Shutterstock

The attacks on shipping in the Red Sea are likely to drag the Western powers, including an unwilling US, into the Middle East conflict.

The Swords of Iron war is badly timed for US President Joe Biden. A veteran politician like him understands that if he is already lagging former president Donald Trump in the opinion polls, US involvement in a Middle East war is a complete electoral gamble.

This is why, since the war began on October 7, Biden has mainly taken deterrent measures, such as stationing the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford in the East Mediterranean (a mission about to end), or forming the "Prosperity Guardian" coalition in the Red Sea, which so far has taken no proactive steps against the Houthi rebels in Yemen who are endangering the sea lanes.

Now, an important player in the maritime coalition, Great Britain, has run out of patience with the absurd military superiority of the Houthis in the Red Sea. They may have considerable means at their disposal - ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft, and unmanned boats - but, in the end, this is a terrorist army, not a state. We are not dealing with the Iranian navy, for example.

The British have seen how Danish container shipping giant Maersk, which carries 15% of world trade, announced that it was returning to the Red Sea routes, and then withdrew for what it calls "a pause" because of two attacks within less than 24 hours on the Maersk Hangzhou. Britain, and Europe in general, cannot live peaceably with a situation in which shipping giants and energy companies of the size of BP refrain from transiting a route via which, in normal times, 12% of global maritime trade passes. It’s a situation that lengthens the supply chain by 14 days at best, and of course raises costs sharply.

And so, according to "The Times", Rishi Sunak and his government are promoting aggressive initiatives by the coalition against the Houthis. This security policy, which is in line with that of the Pentagon, does Israel’s work for it, dragging the Western powers into an attack deep into Yemen.

Israel is of course aware that the Houthis’ response to military action of an intensity that overwhelms its defensive capabilities is very likely to be many more missiles and UAVs launched at Eilat. Israel, however, is at the limit of the range of the aerial threats in the Houthis’ possession, if we accept the information coming out of Iran, which doesn’t always conform to reality.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 1, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Joe Biden  credit: Shutterstock
Joe Biden credit: Shutterstock
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