Earlier this month, I asked what seemed to be a fairly obvious question. Why aren’t we attacking the Houthis in Yemen? It’s not as if they haven’t given us more than valid reasons to do so. Their attacks have become so frequent that a lot of commercial shipping is being rerouted away from the Red Sea. They’ve also regularly launched strikes at American military vessels, though we have thankfully been able to deter them. Now, after weeks and months of stalling, the Biden administration is reportedly talking about possibly doing something about it. There are clearly plenty of options on the table. The question is whether or not Joe Biden has the spine to take some significant action that would deliver a firm message to the terrorists. (Politico)
The Biden administration has been reluctant to respond militarily against the Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in recent weeks for fear of provoking Iran.
Top Biden administration officials are actively weighing options to strike back at Houthis in Yemen after the Iran-backed group launched new attacks on naval and commercial ships in the Red Sea on Saturday, according to two U.S. officials.
The Pentagon has in recent days moved the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group from the Persian Gulf into the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Yemen, to support a potential U.S. response to attacks, said one of the officials, both of whom were granted anonymity to speak about sensitive plans. The military has also provided options to commanders to strike the Houthis, the official said.
I believe that Politico’s analysis nails the question in the very first paragraph. We haven’t seen any response against the Houthis yet because of Joe Biden’s “fear of provoking Iran.” I drew the same conclusion weeks ago in my original article (linked above), well before anyone at the White House started saying the quiet part out loud. Biden is too deeply wedded to the ridiculous notion of somehow normalizing relations with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to do much that might “offend” them. And since the Houthis are proxy fighters funded by Iran, the President is apparently reluctant to strike back even after we’ve been hit dozens of times.
Maybe it’s me, but it doesn’t seem like the United States should be tailoring its foreign policy around a fear of offending a state sponsor of terrorism. The Houthis haven’t just “crossed a line” recently. They’ve smashed the line to pieces and they wouldn’t be doing it if Iran hadn’t given the green light to the attacks. The USS Carney had to shoot down fourteen attack drones launched from Yemen yesterday morning. A Houthi drone hit a Liberian-flagged tanker on Friday, starting a fire. The same day they hit another Liberian ship with a ballistic missile. This isn’t just piracy at sea. These are military attacks being launched with Iranian weapons.
How much more is it going to take? The Houthis struck first and the only thing they will understand or respect is strength. We have the intelligence-gathering capabilities to identify the source of these rocket and drone launches and with all of the firepower we have stationed in the area, we should be able to drop some bunkerbusters on them in a matter of minutes. Do the Houthis want to play with drones? Send over a few of our Reapers and we’ll show them what real drone warfare looks like. While we’re on the subject, we should also be able to track where and when Iran’s next shipments of missiles and drones are heading to Yemen and take them out before they can even be delivered.
Who is going to object if we do? Yemen is barely recognizable as a country at the moment and their legitimate government is currently in exile. They wouldn’t be able to hit us back if they wanted to and we’d probably be doing them a favor if we wiped out enough of the Houthis. The only country likely to complain would be Iran, and why should we give a hoot what they think? Joe Biden needs to be blocking the oil shipments leaving Iran and heading to China, enforcing the sanctions that were already in place. Cut off Iran’s money since they’re just using it to fund terrorism anyway. That’s what we were doing during the Trump administration and you didn’t see nearly as much of this garbage going on then. And when they did get out of line he put a cruise missile in somebody’s face. Just ask Qasem Soleimani about that. (Oh, that’s right. You can’t. He’s dead.) Joe Biden needs to learn that he’s playing in the big leagues now. Sometimes you just have to step up to the plate.