Entering the grey zone: what to do about it?
Over the last few years, hybrid warfare has gained a tremendous amount of attention both in Europe and worldwide. NATO, the EU, and individual nations have devoted considerable time and resources to better understand and respond to the challenges posed by this new form of threat. Thus far, there is no clear definition of the concept. Hybrid warfare intentionally blurs the distinction between peace and war by operating outside regular perceptions of war as a violent clash of force, and by challenging the international community’s understanding of the beginning and end of hostilities.
After the alleged use of hybrid warfare in conflicts such as the Israel-Hezbollah war, the Russian intervention in Ukraine and the South China Sea case, the international community can no longer sit still.
Therefore, the Disarmament and International Security Committee is asked to respond to this new threat in a clear and effective manner, and tackle one of the greatest challenges to international security of this time.
War in Yemen
The Future of International Involvement in the Civil War in Yemen
The Civil War in Yemen has raged since 2015, when Houthi rebels besieged and dissolved the Yemeni government, prompting the flight of President Hadi to Aden. In March of that year, forces from the two camps clashed at Aden Airport, marking the beginning of the armed conflict. Now, in 2019, the Houthi rebels are in control of most of Western Yemen, while Hadi government and their allies control the South-Western coast, Central Yemen, and the Eastern regions. The mid-eastern regions are controlled by smaller groups and insurgencies. Al-Qaeda remains the most notable of these.
The Houthi rebels, being predominantly Shi’a Muslims, have been accused of serving as an Iranian proxy. Both Saudi Arabia and the US have accused the rebels of receiving equipment and training from Iran. While both sides have denied the allegations, Khamenei has proclaimed his spiritual support for the movement. On the other side, a US- and Saudi-led coalition has provided support for the Hadi government. This has come primarily in the form of 100 warplanes and 150 000 troops from Saudi Arabia. After the initial Operation Decisive Strom ended later in 2015, a shift towards political stability was announced with Operation Renewal of Hope. Nevertheless, foreign involvement has persisted, both directly and indirectly, through arms sales. Germany took the first step by putting an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. France and the UK – the other two most prominent powers in Europe – maintain that arms exports to Saudi Arabia remain an important way to counter Iranian influence in the area. In the US, however, Trump defied Congress and allowed weapon sales to Saudi Arabia to continue, despite abundant evidence that these weapons are being used on various targets in Yemen. Western powers struggle to find consensus on their approach to the Civil War. The US, UK, and France continues to export, while Germany does not. Organizations like the UN and the EU take a more critical stance, to little effect so far.
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