After delaying for as long as possible, Biden went ahead and finally approved strikes on Houthi targets over the Iranian-backed terror group’s attacks on container ships and US Navy vessels.
Biden’s statement took care to emphasize that these were “strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways.”
The statement describes them as “targeted strikes” that reportedly hit Houthi radar sites, weapons depots, production facilities and launch systems with the goal of preventing the Houthis from launching attacks on shipping.
This sounds sensible, but it’s also containment. And very temporary at that. Rather than trying to significantly cripple Houthi abilities, these attacks are geared to keeping the Houthis from attacking ships… right now. What happens later comes… later.
The Biden calculus is to do the bare minimum to stop the attacks for the moment.
Will that succeed? I suspect it won’t. Iran and the Houthis were prepared for attacks like these and their capacity will diminish but I suspect that there will be more attacks on shipping before long.