Home US Foreign Affairs Biden’s Yemen Withdrawal: A Sane Strategy or an Axe on His Own Feet?

Biden’s Yemen Withdrawal: A Sane Strategy or an Axe on His Own Feet?

by Eli Mshomi
Biden's Yemen Withdrawal: A Sane Strategy or an Axe on His Own Feet?
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Be it Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, or the other parts of the Middle East, Donald Trump’s foreign policy aimed at pulling the United States troops back from these war-torn countries. However, the problem of Yemen was further accelerated by Trump. 

With power in Biden’s hands, a major foreign policy shift is happening in Middle East politics, which can change the momentum in the region to a whole new level.

Some schools of thought also suggest that by doing so, Biden will end up messing the whole situation. 

As Biden has to make decisions regarding US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and recalibrating its relations with its decades-old ally Saudi Arabia, all eyes are on the crucial decisions in the coming days that can shape global politics dramatically.

Biden’s Yemen Strategy: A Step to Worsen the Yemen Situation?

The power tussle in Yemen is currently between the US-backed, Saudi-led Yemeni government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

It is true that the United States’ support in Yemen has escalated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 

According to the United Nations, more than 233,000 individuals have died since the onslaught of war in 2014. 

To add insult to injury, almost 100,000 of them have died due to a shortage of food and hunger in the midst of the war crisis.

While Biden is ready to revoke the war that started during his vice presidency in Obama’s tenure, the powerful Houthis will find an easy path in Yemen if this occurs.

As Iran currently supports the Houthis, they will find it an opportunity to take over Yemen.

Iran will be more than happy to flood its resources to the Houthis to make a stronghold in the war-torn country.

Not only this, but Iran will also see it as an opportunity to strangle Saudi Arabia, an everlasting ally of the United States.

 

US Yemen Withdrawal: Will it Pave the Way for a Saudi-Iran Alliance to Strangle the US?

The US withdrawal from the equation will force the Saudis to seek new alliances in the region.

As Saudis will have to bow down to Houthis, this can even open the doors for the Saudis to get closer to Iran, an alliance having the potential to change the politics of the Middle East altogether.

Currently, all the ongoing Middle East tussle is about the Saudi-Iran rivalry. If both countries can somehow come closer to each other, global politics will be changed drastically.

For instance, the pursuit of the Abraham Accord by the US lately is troubling Iran. Similarly, the Yemen withdrawal will trouble Saudi Arabia. Both of these countries can seek each other’s cooperation in the respective areas.

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It is also pertinent to note here that Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two major countries of the Middle East, and opposition to both of them is never a sane approach for the United States.

Diplomacy, not Weapons, is the Answer

Amid all of this power tussle, the answer for the United States lies in diplomacy. The Biden administration also realized this fact as they have used the word “recalibrating” their relations with Saudi Arabia instead of completely rolling back those relations.

While this is true that Biden should roll back all the military spending to Saudi Arabia to save the people from the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the Biden administration should now try to solve the issue with the help of diplomacy to avert the rise of Iranian-backed Houthis. 

This is due to the fact that otherwise, the emergence of the Houthis as an all-important entity would continue human rights violations in the war-torn region.

Nobody would be able to check on the Houthis in case of a diplomatic failure in the Middle East, which is never a desired situation.

 

Final Thoughts

The changing dynamics of Biden’s foreign policy is not a shocking thing, considering the rise of progressive factions in the Democratic ranks. 

This rise of the progressives forced Biden to focus on humanitarian issues around the globe. This made Biden retract from the war, which was started in his own vice presidency.

The answer for the US is in diplomacy so that the United States can tackle the inevitable humanitarian crisis in Yemen without losing the support of its Middle East allies.

The United States would also be able to save its millions of dollars with the help of this withdrawal, which they can use elsewhere. 

Biden’s team should also examine other repercussions of this withdrawal, including their support of the Abraham Accord and China’s policy, or else they can end up isolating the United States once again, repeating Donald Trump’s era.

 

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