On January 30, 2024, CEP held a webinar to present a policy paper concerning the threat to global security posed by the Houthi attacks on the international shipping industry since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, 2023.
Report here: https://counterextre.me/StakesOfHouthiAggression
Since November 18, the Iran-backed Houthis have launched dozens of attacks in the Red Sea and Suez Canal, prompting the United States to announce a multinational naval operation to protect global shipping interests. Several major shipping companies, meanwhile, have started diverting shipments around the Cape of Good Hope—adding weeks to shipping times, fuel consumption, and increasing shipping and insurance costs. Tensions and confrontations have escalated throughout 2024: on January 9, the Houthis ignored recent warnings and launched a complex missile attack against several commercial ships; on January 11, the U.S.-led coalition launched retaliatory strikes against Houthi targets. Most recently, on January 15 the Houthis struck a U.S.-owned and operated cargo ship for the first time. The Biden administration re-designated the Houthis as Specially Designated Global Terrorists on January 17.
These attacks, and the international response to them, have escalated and expanded the stakes of the war between Israel and Hamas. Houthi aggression has significant security and economic implications for international trade and the fight against ramping inflation both in Europe and the United States, as the Red Sea shipping route is a vital component of the global economy. CEP’s policy paper explores the consequences of recent Houthi aggression on the global shipping industry as well as its possible implications for both the peace process in Yemen and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East connected to Hamas’s war against Israel.