US Announces 10-Nation Force to Counter Houthi Attacks in Red Sea

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday in Bahrain the establishment of a 10-nation force, known as Operation Prosperity Guardian, to protect trade in the Red Sea following attacks on shipping lines by Houthi forces in Yemen.

    • Under the coordination of the existing 39-member Combined Task Force 153 — launched in April 2022 to improve maritime security within the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Alden — the new coalition comprises Bahrain, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Spain, and the US.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Though there's indeed a risk that a forceful response may escalate regional tensions to the point that Iran and its other proxy groups could engage in the conflict, Houthi rebels have left the US and its allies with very few options to protect commercial shipping. Hopefully, this purely defensive task force and diplomacy will be enough to deter further attacks. Otherwise, a more offensive approach to the Houthis will be required.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Yemeni Houthis have carried out military operations against ships bound for the Israeli-occupied territories through the Red Sea in a direct response to the relentless and unlawful Israeli war against the Palestinian people in Gaza. If the US and its allies continue their move towards a coalition response against the Yemeni forces, they should expect both military and prestige defeats.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that the US will intervene within the Israel-Gaza War before July 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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