Yemen’s Proxy War and U.S. Imperialism

Let’s talk about state sovereignty.

According to the definition, each sovereign state governs itself independently by exercising political independence and exclusive control over its defined territory, including the people and property within it. States do not have the authority to extend their power of influence beyond national borders, as they are prohibited from influencing the internal affairs of any other state. 

To violate another state’s sovereignty is to fail to recognize that state’s territorial integrity. Violations occur far too often and are mostly disguised under the pretense of humanitarian intervention. 

Such a violation is never accidental. It is a ploy to further an imperialist hegemony. 

Yemen, a country in the midst of a violent civil war and sectarian strife between the Shia Houthi rebels and Sunni loyalists of besieged president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, has now been forced into a deadly proxy war: The United States-backed kingdom of Saudi Arabia has vowed to protect Hadi from Houthi insurgency via repeated air strikes and a military invasion, Operation Decisive Storm, which is supported by several other surrounding nations, from Qatar to Egypt and even Pakistan. 

To further complicate the transnational conflict, the U.S. continues to propel Saudi Arabia by providing military aide and intelligence. Moreover, the U.S. keeps hold of its ability to further drone warfare in Yemen. 

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A divided Yemen; photo courtesy Reuters via The Wall Street Journal.

Such a sweeping offensive has clearly infringed on Yemen’s sovereignty. But why is this so important? 

For the west, the ever-present threat of al-Qaeda has now deepened. The terrorist network’s most active and threatening branch, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has found a safe haven in Yemen and is also an enemy group of the Houthis. Ultimately, an offensive operation against the Houthis satisfies AQAP. As the U.S. and European Union continue to undermine the Houthi insurgency, they are inadvertently fortifying AQAP’s regional stronghold.

Also, the Iranian government voiced its disapproval against the continued foreign invasion in the country, further complicating the proxy war in Yemen. Iran has been known to back the Houthi rebels in an attempt to quell the existence of AQAP. As the U.S. struggles to suppress recent tension with Iran regarding nuclear power, its presence in Yemen is counterproductive since it complicates nuclear negotiations. 

Yemen is a state on the brink of failure, and foreign invasion is only muddying the already messy situation. The violation of Yemen’s sovereignty by an imperialist-backed invader satisfies only one political interest: the pursuit of hegemonic power. 

The people of Yemen have the political right to determine the fate of their country by picking a leader free from outside interference. 

The Poly Post, Vol. 30

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