Saudi Arabia’s new, exit-focused strategy for Yemen implicitly weakens the country’s formal institutions and provides greater political leverage for the Houthis, imposing indirect costs that could undercut prospects for a broader U.N.-led Yemeni peace process.
The Houthi campaign to deny revenue and resources to Yemen’s U.N.-recognized government threatens the country’s long-term stability and risks upending any Saudi-Houthi deal.
If the international community wants to ensure that Yemen’s war actually ends when the peace deal is signed, it needs to rebuild the country’s economy.
Saudi Arabia is looking for an exit from Yemen. While a Saudi withdrawal is unlikely to end Yemen’s civil war, the Saudis are likely to proceed if Iran can keep the Houthis onside.
Saudi-Houthi backchannel talks will not succeed in generating a comprehensive political settlement unless the concerns and grievances of all Yemeni factions as well as the region's long-term stability are given due consideration.
Iran has leverage, influence, and history with the Houthis. As Saudi Arabia tries to extract itself from Yemen, Tehran will utilize all three to prolong the conflict.
The Houthis will be more vulnerable after the full withdrawal of Saudi and Emirati forces than they have been at any time during the war.
The United States wants to end the war in Yemen, but given its lack of leverage over the Houthis, the few policy options it does have will likely make the situation worse.
Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.Learn More