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Biden-Blinken Team Tackles the Houthi Terror Threat: Here’s What Should Be Done

President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have their work cut out for them in dealing with the Houthi, a foreign terrorist organization entrenched in Yemen. Since the Houthi declared themselves a political entity after the 2014 coup d’état in Yemen, they have caused relentless destruction, destruction of civil infrastructure, and spread terror in the region. The Yemeni people suffer from an ongoing civil war which has caused an acute food crisis, with famine in some areas, and this violence has been fueled and jargonized by the Houthi. The Yemeni population is largely and understandably angry that there is no clear international message towards the Houthi’s terrorist actions. The Biden-Blinken team must act quickly and consider the full scope of both short-term and long-term measures to combat the militia’s strong presence in Yemen. Firstly, the U.S. should continue to support the U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, in his peace mission to Yemen. Although difficult, the Special Envoy has achieved some successes. This is mainly the result of negotiated releases of prisoners, ceasefires, and the still fragile humanitarian aid agreement that’s in place. However, the U.S. should also consider the Houthi situation in the context of the wider regional conflict in the Middle East, and continue to work with regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to counteract the expansion of Iranian influence in the area. Furthermore, the Biden-Blinken team needs to employ both military and economic measures in duality. A military response that seeks to deny the Houthi resources, if not push them back, is necessary, but it has been unsuccessful in the past due to lack of cooperation by U.S. allies in the region and the chaotic nature of the conflict. An economic response could more clearly target the militia’s funding, however, as well as the Arsenal of new weapons they have received from Iran. The sanctions need to be well-coordinated with the U.S.’s regional partners in order to be effective. Above all, it is of utmost importance that President Biden and Secretary Blinken make sure to recognize the true nature of the Houthi and their actions, as they find increasingly desperate ways to stay powerful in the region. They are without a doubt a credible threat to the security of the United States and its allies, as well as a foreign terrorist organization, and must be treated and dealt with as such.