The infosphere is alive with the sound of “World War III!” – but it’s actually more likely that the bigger nations will try to cobble together some kind of ceasefire and consultative approach in the days ahead, than it is that a Saudi-led coalition will wage a decisive war to retake and pacify Yemen.
The ultimate reason for this is that no one with a stake is currently ready to have “the” decisive fight. The world has been conditioned to decisive fights, waged by American-led coalitions, for a long time now. But indecisive and protracted conflicts are much more the historical norm, especially for Asia and its perimeter. It’s frustrating and hard to keep straight, but that’s what the future holds for us, now that America is no longer the sheriff.
In the case of Yemen, at least some nations expected the U.S. to put up more of a fight for the recognized government of Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The fact that we didn’t – that our last remaining military contingent quietly pulled out a week ago – is what opened the gate for the swift push of the last few days by the Houthis toward Aden, the southern port city from which President Hadi fled by sea on Thursday, 26 March.
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