April 4, 2016
As the Saudi intervention in the conflict in Yemen enters its second year, there is reason for some optimism that an end to the hostilities may be near. The government in Riyadh and its Houthi adversaries have engaged in direct talks, and a cease-fire and another round of U.N.-sponsored negotiations are scheduled for April 10 and 18, respectively. Yet, because of the wide range of internal dynamics and grievances as well as the number of local and regional actors involved and their respective agendas, Yemen risks seeing the “big war” ended only for the country to be consumed by a series of complex “small wars” that are open to exploitation by both domestic and regional actors. Structuring a peace process that takes these elements into account will be integral to its long-term viability.