The Telegraph: “Houthis Have ‘Defeated’ American Goliath”

The Yemeni Islamist, pan-Arab nationalist, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist movement effectively closed down the Red Sea to the merchant fleets of Israel and its allies in late 2023 in solidarity with Gazans, with their campaign of ship seizures, missile and drone attacks causing a two-thirds drop in tonnage passing through the strategic waterway.

Yemen’s Houthi militia have effectively “defeated the US military,” humbling America into recognizing that it “cannot be an omnipotent force, fighting every battle around the globe,” one of the UK’s top circulation daily newspapers has suggested.

In a piece for The Telegraph on Wednesday, opinion contributor Daniel Depetris pointed out that America’s immense economic and military might “doesn’t necessarily equate to unlimited influence,” and that “the architects of US foreign policy all too often assume the US is all powerful, that it can will events out of whole cloth and coerce friends and adversaries alike to adopt their policies to Washington’s likings.”

This “almost universal” assumption “has been disproven time and time again,” most recently by the Houthis, who, in Depetris’ characterization, have “been treating the Red Sea as [their] own personal firing range since November.”

No amount of effort by the US and the UK to “change the Houthis’ strategic calculus” by bombing the militia has helped, the columnist admitted. Nor have US attempts to quietly bribe the Houthis to get them to halt their attacks.

“[T]he mere fact that the US is taking military action every week is proof that US policy isn’t impacting the Houthis’ decision-making whatsoever. The Houthi missiles keep on coming,” Depetris lamented.

The guided missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) patrols the waters of the Persian Gulf. File photo. – Sputnik International, 1920, 14.05.2024

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“None of this isn’t to suggest the US isn’t a powerful state. Rather, the point is that the US often inflates its power, underestimates the power of other states to resist US dictates and is overly confident that whatever challenges exist along the way can be easily brushed aside. The reality is far more complex – it’s about time US officials acknowledged it,” the columnist recommended.

US officials and media have occasionally acknowledged the failure of their effort to reign in the Houthis. In January, less than a month into the US-UK campaign of air and missile strikes against Yemen, President Biden casually admitted that American attacks on Yemen would continue even though they were “not working.”

US military officials have echoed these pessimistic sentiments, acknowledging privately that the US is on the “wrong side of the cost curve” in the conflict with the Houthis.

“In the Red Sea, the Houthis are sending $20,000 drones and we’re shooting them down with missiles that cost $4.3 million. The math doesn’t work on that gentlemen. It just doesn’t work. What are we thinking?” Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces chairman Angus King asked during an explosive grilling of Pentagon officials last week over the sorry state of US missile defenses.

A supporter of Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, with an ammunition belt placed on his head attends a celebration of Moulid al-nabi, the birth of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 – Sputnik International, 1920, 03.05.2024

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The US-led anti-Houthi operation has been going on for over seven months now, long enough that the US Navy has begun rotating warships out of the Red Sea and sending them home.

Unable to defeat the Houthis, US officials have angrily accused Iran of providing the militia with weapons (a claim Tehran has denied) while simultaneously quietly urging Saudi Arabia to revive peace talks with the Yemeni fighters.

The Houthis have said repeatedly that their campaign of attacks will continue until Israel halts its assault on Gaza.

A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (File) – Sputnik International, 1920, 14.05.2024

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By Ilya Tsukanov

Published by Sputnik Globe



Republished by The 21st Century

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of




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