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A coalition for peace

Jan 11,2018 - Last updated at Jan 14,2018

When the evil Daesh erupted in Iraq and Syria, several countries from the region and abroad were quick to form a military coalition to fight the barbarous group. The same thing happened when the Iran-led subversive Houthis emerged in Yemen.

At the time, the two coalitions were seen as much-needed reactions to counter extremists and terrorists who wanted to wreak havoc not only in the said three Arab countries but the entire region.

In the opinion of experts, even though the coalition against Daesh did not succeed in wiping out the group, it was effective in containing and preventing it from expanding into further territories.

Much of the wiping out occurred due to the more forceful Russian-led intervention, as far as Syria is concerned, and the recent government-led Iraqi forces, with respect to Iraq.

Regarding the Yemeni situation, the coalition has, similarly, contained but did not defeat the subversive Houthis.

The main reservation, voiced by many observers and analysts, about the two coalitions was that the actual outcome, compared to the disproportionate capabilities of the sides involved, was not satisfactory enough.

There is another reservation – a more important one.

While putting together a military coalition, in record time, to fight emerging threats is certainly a big plus, failing to come up with a parallel political coalition to address the real causes of these emerging threats is a big minus.

And this is where the problem lies at present.

While Daesh has been greatly weakened and defeated, it has not been entirely wiped out. As far as the Houthis are concerned, they are still alive and kicking.

Several lessons are to be drawn here. The most important is that military solutions alone are not effective.

Following a military offensive, or parallel to it, there should be a political offensive as well.

In the case of both Syria and Yemen, we have not seen such a political offensive yet.

True, there have been attempts, as well as talks held, especially with respect to Syria. However, no concrete results have emerged.

The main reason for the failure appears to be that the members of the military coalition themselves do not see eye-to-eye politically.

Of course, Daesh aside, the warring sides in both Syria and Yemen do not seem to have the will or willingness to sit down and negotiate in earnest. Which is a problem.

The more important problem, however, is that while coalition members seem to coordinate their military attacks well, they seem to lack a clear political vision and a coordinated political position.

It is this lack of political will that seems to be promoting the conflicts in both Syria and Yemen, to nobody's apparent benefit and at a huge human cost.

To end the conflict and chaos in both unfortunate countries, as well alleviate the suffering and misery of their good people, there needs to be a political coalition, either instead of or in addition to the military one. 

Otherwise, the conflicts in both countries will be opened-ended, which is both sad and upsetting.

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