Even though Western policymakers have focused primarily on other potential locations for Russian diplomatic arbitration, a closer examination of geopolitical factors in the Middle East suggests that Yemen is the optimal theater for a Russian diplomatic intervention. If Moscow expands its diplomatic presence in Yemen and makes progress towards ending a seemingly intractable military stalemate, Russia’s role as an indispensable power broker in the Middle East will be entrenched for years to come.
Samuel Ramani is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He is also a journalist who contributes regularly to the Washington Post, Huffington Post and The Diplomat. He can be followed on Twitter at samramani2 and on Facebook at Samuel Ramani.
Image: Russian military jets are seen at Hmeymim air base in Syria, June 18, 2016. Picture taken June 18, 2016. REUTERS/Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry via Reuters