Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Saudis Look to Have a Vietnam

The Saudis and the members of their coalition in Yemen aren't so experienced the whole intervention in other countries thing. They're likely to get experienced fast.

Saudi Arabia’s newfound military prowess and interventionist policy is being put to the test in the battle for central Yemen, with rising casualties posing a challenge to public support for the war.

For Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab Gulf allies, the military campaign in Yemen’s central province of Marib is their largest in more than 80 years and for some members of the coalition, their first real taste of war.

The fact that former President Hadi of Yemen is a guest of the Saudis and is kicking back waiting to be re-installed in his former job suggests to me this ain't gonna go well. 

And casualties have risen. Shortly before the ground invasion, a Houthi rocket attack on a military base outside Marib on Sept. 4 killed 60 Gulf troops, including 45 Emirati soldiers, according to official news agencies in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“I think the biggest question is the sustainability of casualties – UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – these societies really haven’t suffered casualties in foreign wars in the living memory of anyone,” Mr. Gause said.

Hearts and minds still matter.

“The public debate in the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain is very simple: action in Yemen is not only to save Yemen from the hand of Houthi militia control, it is rather an important part of an overdue regional, Arab confrontation with Iran,” says Mustafa Alani, director of national security at the Jeddah-based Gulf Research Center

“Winning in Yemen is a key battlefield in the wide war against Iran aggressive policy,” he says. “Coalition forces understand the cost of this confrontation, and the possibility of high causalities in certain areas.”

Yes, well if they truly want to take on Iran, they better get used to casualties. The Iranians already know about suffering them

The death toll, overall, was an estimated 1 million for Iran and 250,000-500,000 for Iraq.

I suspect none of these coalition countries are prepared to sacrifice numbers like that. 

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