Saudi Arabia’s failed intervention

I understand this take might be a little late but ever since the start of the Saudi blockade against Qatar I have been thinking about the Iran-Saudi proxy war, and that obviously led me to the ongoing Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

In short it has been a complete unmitigated disaster for everyone involved and here are three reasons why.

  1. Civilian Casualties

According to the United Nations, at least 10,000 civilians have died during the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and another 40,000 civilians have been wounded in the fighting. It has also been reported that Yemen is teetering on the brink of a major famine, with an estimated 7 million civilians (over 3.3 million of those children and mothers) suffering from acute malnutrition due to the war and the ongoing Saudi/US naval blockade.

2. Saudi incompetence

Saudi Arabia and a majority of the forces in its assembled coalition have been sold modern military equipment for years, and its senior officers have been trained at some of the most prestigious military academies in the world. Yet despite all of these supposed technological advancements they’ve not been able to achieve a complete victory over the local Houthi forces in two years, and a mixture of cross-border raids from Houthi forces and sheer incompetence from the Saudi-led coalition has led to over 10 senior commanders being killed during the fighting.

In addition, the poorly planned Saudi-led intervention has led to swathes of Yemeni territory falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda and ISL.

3. Western compliance

All throughout the conflict the United States, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom have been selling the Saudi-led coalition with the offensive weapons they need to maintain the operation in Yemen. The US Navy has also openly assisted with the naval blockade that is considered one of the reasons for the near-famine conditions currently threatening Yemen, and both the UK and the US have helped the Saudi-led forces with intelligence and training, and they’ve both worked to block successive inquiries into the war being conducted in Yemen.

It’s also been revealed that the United States has interrogated Yemeni civilians in facilities that use torture on their detainees. US officials have since denied any knowledge of torture being conducted on the premises they visited but it’s hard to imagine that the forms of torture being used on these detainees could be effectively hidden from the US.