Proxy War in Yemen  book cover
1st Edition

Proxy War in Yemen

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 23, 2022
ISBN 9781032201665
November 23, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
152 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book analyses the civil war in Yemen and how intervening external actors have shaped the trajectory of the conflict.

The work examines the conflict in Yemen as a testing ground for expectations about the autonomy and control of proxies by external patrons and the direct consequences for civilian victimization and duration of war. Like other proxy wars, the international dimensions of the war made the conflict in Yemen subject to the geopolitical interests of intervening powers. The longstanding power rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran over Middle East supremacy resulted in a competitive intervention in Yemen, where the initial belligerents of the civil war —the Houthi and the Hadi regime—were used as proxies by Tehran and the Gulf coalition led by Riyadh, respectively. Their intervention ultimately translated into a prolonged and destructive conflict. The often contradictory and self-interested patronage strategies by the coalition’s two central patrons, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, undermined their broader goal of containing Iran. On the other hand, Iran’s support for the Houthis enabled them to bait and bleed the Gulf coalition. Lastly, in an effort to balance against Iran, the United States underwrote the military campaign of the Gulf states with military hardware and personnel, thereby further prolonging the conflict and humanitarian disaster. The book concludes that intervention by external patrons both protracted the civil war and made it far more destructive for the civilian population.

This book will be of much interest to students of proxy wars, Middle Eastern conflict, and security studies in general.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Proxy War: A Primer

3. Proxy War in the Middle East

4. Key Military Engagements in Yemen, 2014-2022

5. External Patrons of Surrogates in Yemen’s Civil War

6. Conclusion

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Bernd Kaussler holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews and is currently a Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. His recent scholarship includes Rhetoric and Governance under Trump: Proclamations from the Bullshit Pulpit (2020), US Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: The Realpolitik of Deceit (2017) and Iran's Nuclear Diplomacy: Power Politics and Conflict Resolution (2014).

Keith A. Grant holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Arizona and is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at James Madison University.  His research focuses on violent interstate conflict and international cooperation.