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Murrett Discusses the Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea in NY Times and Telegraph Articles

January 9, 2024

The New York Times,The Telegraph

Robert B. Murrett

Robert B. Murrett

In the past month , the Houthis—a Yemeni rebel group backed by Iran—have launched more than 100 attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea, crippling traffic there. The Houthis say their attacks in the Red Sea target Israeli-connected or allied ships and are aimed at pressuring Israel to stop its devastating war on Gaza.

The Biden administration has not yet struck back for a number of reasons, including concerns that the war in Gaza could escalate into a wider conflict in the region.

“In the Navy, we have a saying: ‘You don’t shoot the arrow. You shoot the archer,’” Vice Adm. Robert Murrett (Ret.), professor of practice of public administration and international affairs, tells the New York Times. “I’m sure the strike targets have been dusted off.” But, he says, administration officials are asking themselves, “If you do that, will it be escalatory?”

In The Telegraph article, “Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping pose two big inflationary risks to Britain,” Murret warns that the attacks in the Red Sea could easily drag on for the whole of 2024. “In the mind of the Houthi, this is all connected to what’s happening in Gaza,” he says. “And the operations in Gaza could last for the rest of this calendar year.”

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