Executive Summary

The Houthi threat to freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden challenges a core and enduring U.S. interest in the Middle East. U.S. airstrikes seeking to degrade the military capabilities of the Houthis are necessary but insufficient. We recommend a broader approach using an interdiction regime at sea that aims to: 1) counter the ability of the Houthis to be resupplied/rearmed by Iran, or other organizations, with weapons and weapons components that can be used to attack international vessels; and 2) deny the Houthis the use of Iranian training, intelligence, targeting information, or other means that can be used to endanger international maritime trade.

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Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Keith Nowak (U.S. Department of Defense)

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