Volume LVI- Number 1

Dr. Charles Schmitz

Abstract: This article distills insights shared by Dr. Charles Schmitz during his delivery of the Dr. Belgrad Speaker Series event on October 24, 2022. It draws on extensive research to unspool the complexity of the conflict in Yemen. The background and context of the war that it provides is meant to help readers understand not only key domestic actors but international actors as well, including the diverse and often conflicting regional agendas that they pursue. Domestically, the key actors include the Houthis and their multiple opponents, including the Republican government, Secessionists, and others. International actors like the Arab Coalition, the United States, the Saudi/Emirati, and Iran, also each have their own objectives in Yemen. After offering these snapshots of the various actors embroiled in the Yemeni conflict, this article elucidates the geopolitical factors that have shaped and deepened the complexity of the conflict. These include Yemen’s economic collapse, the challenges of the wartime economy, and the nuances of Saudi blockade. The war in Yemen is currently in a ceasefire, which leaves the question, what is going to happen next? This article argues that, while there is a likelihood that fighting could resurface in Yemen, a transition to partition appears more likely as a permanent solution. Considering all domestic and international actors and geopolitical complexities, the war in Yemen is very unlikely to end with a peaceful settlement in any near future. This article helps readers to understand why that is the case.

Key Words: Yemen Conflict, Houthi, Zaydis, Hussayn al-Houthi, United States, Saudi Arabia, Saudi/Emirati Campaign in Yemen, Blockade to Yemen, De Facto Partition of Yemen, Yemen War.

About Author: Charles Schmitz is professor of Geography at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland where he has taught since 1999.  Dr. Schmitz is a specialist on the Middle East and Yemen.  He began his academic career as a Fulbright Scholar and American Institute for Yemeni Studies Fellow in Yemen in the early 1990’s.  Dr. Schmitz’ current research interests include the political economy of development in Yemen and the sociology of contemporary Yemeni society.

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