Biden’s Sea Coalition Sinks as Allies Jump Ship Amid Houthi Onslaught

The Biden administration’s much-touted effort to corral a coalition to safeguard the seas from missile and drone attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen has hit rough waters. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had grandly introduced the “Operation Prosperity Guardian” program during a trip to the Middle East, proudly highlighting the alliance of several nations including the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain. However, France, Italy, and Spain have all backed out, opting to conduct patrols under the umbrella of NATO or the European Union, ditching the United States-led coalition and leaving Biden red-faced.

To make matters worse, there have been a whopping nine more Houthi attacks since the coalition’s inception, despite Austin’s stern warning for the militia to cease their “irresponsible and dangerous behavior.” These attacks have disrupted a significant portion of the international shipping traffic passing through the Red Sea, forcing shipping companies to seek alternative, longer, and pricier routes. And to add salt to the wound, the U.S. military has yet to take direct action against the Houthi forces responsible for these attacks.

While the Pentagon has been tight-lipped about the specifics of the coalition’s operations, they’ve tried to reassure the public by likening it to a “highway patrol” for global shipping and mariners in the region. The coalition’s assigned zone spans from the Suez Canal to the Gulf of Aden, covering a distance akin to traveling from Boston to Washington, D.C.

And if that weren’t enough, these assaults aren’t isolated incidents. They’ve occurred alongside attacks by Iran-backed groups on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. But the Biden administration has displayed a level of reluctance in responding aggressively, with just a few retaliatory strikes and refraining entirely from engaging the Houthi forces.

A Democrat strategist noted that diplomatic outreach to Tehran has been a focal point of Biden’s foreign policy, elucidating the administration’s cautiousness in confronting Iran. However, this approach has come under fire, with calls for a tougher stance and clear warnings to Iran that the U.S. military is prepared to defend peace and security in the Middle East.


Written by Staff Reports

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