KSA’s positive intervention
Nevertheless, anarchy is not beyond control. It has, as the international relations scholar Kenneth Waltz says, “laws” and “norms” which the majority of countries constituting the “international community” have to follow, willingly or unwillingly. Often this commitment is involuntary and something which international circumstances dictate.
One of these norms is the importance of intervening in the internal affairs of a country embroiled in unrest or civil war that may spill over its borders and threaten the stability of its neighbors.
Intervention might be in the form of mediation to help solve differences between two or more warring parties and prevent the conflict from getting out of hand and possibly affecting the region as is now happening in several Middle East countries.
International intervention can be classified into two categories: positive and negative. Positive intervention is often resorted to when one or more countries feel that a conflict in a neighboring country will affect them. These countries have to protect their own stability.
This is what happened when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries – except Qatar – intervened in the current Yemeni crisis. This intervention is considered positive because it is for the common good.
Why did the Kingdom intervene in Yemen?
One reason is that Yemen is a neighboring country with which the Kingdom has strong ties in terms of religion, race, a common history and other mutual interests. The security and stability of Yemen is closely linked to the security and stability of the Kingdom. What happens in Yemen directly affects the Kingdom and vice versa.
Another reason is that the governments of the two countries have a long history of friendly relations.
The Kingdom’s intervention in the Yemeni crisis, therefore, is a duty from the perspective of Arab and Islamic brotherhood. As a neighbor, the Kingdom seeks to protect the security and stability of both countries.
Saudi Arabia’s intervention is in the best interests of Yemen because the Kingdom has good relations with the conflicting parties. Its intervention will allow the Yemenis to decide their future and choose the regime, which the majority wants to govern the nation.
It is also in the best interests of the Kingdom that a unified Yemen becomes secure, stable and prosperous. A fragmented and unstable Yemen can be exploited by those who want to sow chaos in the region and beyond. That is why there are some who oppose a peaceful resolution to the Yemeni conflict. They want to intervene in a negative way.
I hope that the voice of reason will prevail in Yemen and other countries that are currently reeling from unrest so that these nations and the entire region can enjoy the blessings of peace and prosperity.
Nobody wants to live in a world where chaos and hatred reign.
(This analysis was written two days before representatives of the Yemeni government and opposition officially signed the Gulf Initiative in Riyadh on Nov. 23. Now that this peace initiative has been formally accepted by all parties to the Yemeni conflict, the world is looking forward to a quick and honest implementation of the plan, which we shall discuss in a future article. Dr. Sadaka Y. Fadhel is a Member of the Shoura Council and a Professor of Political Science)