Nonresident Senior Fellow Nadwa Dawsari Quoted in the Harvard Political Review

On August 31, 2017, POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Nadwa Dawsari talked with Amanda Wasserman of the Harvard Political Review about intervention in Yemen in an article entitled “The Way Forward in Yemen”:

Aid to the Saudi campaign, however, is not limited to weapon sales. As of November 2016, the United States flew almost 1600 refueling missions for Saudi and Emirati planes circling Yemen. Aerial refueling jets take off from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey or from ships in the Arabian Sea and link up with Saudi F-15s and UAE F-16s in international airspace––allowing planes to conduct longer, more lethal combat missions. Nadwa Dawsari, a nonresident Senior Fellow at The Project on Middle East Democracy and founder of Partners Yemen, argued that this sort of indirect involvement in Yemen has only added to the violence plaguing the failed state in an interview with the HPR. “Yemen has become increasingly less of a priority to the U.S. since 2011. Now, over the past couple of years, … the U.S. government has outsourced Yemen to the Saudis, politically, and to the Emiratis, counterrorism-wise.”

Misunderstandings on the part of the United Nations and the international community have led to the continued failure of peace initiatives in Yemen. In June 2015, negotiations in Geneva dissolved after combatants refused to observe the U.N. ceasefire and meet face-to-face. A little over a year later, peace talks again collapsed in Kuwait when Saleh refused to accept a U.N. sanctioned peace deal and instead called for the installation of a ten-person governing body in Yemen. Both sets of negotiations, however, only included individuals who are insulated from the effects of the war rather than those who have a strong understanding of local grievances. Yemen’s vicious cycle of failed peace initiatives is a direct reflection of this focus on the elite, or as Dawsari described them, “the spoilers.” Instead of initiating peace talks in a new location with the same leaders at the table, the solution to Yemen’s crisis exists at the local level rather than within the same lopsided power dynamics that plague Yemen’s history.

Read the full article here.