The Red Sea Crisis And Political Equity Of Non-State Armed Actors


In today’s codependent world, conflict in one part of the world has serious repercussions in another part. The recent Red Sea crisis is just another example of this. But what is different about it is that the powers involved in this are not just foreign democratic states but also violent non-state actors like Houthis and Hamas. The following paper analyzes the rise of non-state actors and their role in society followed by a deep dive into the Red Sea crisis. The paper will first look into what are non-state actors and the geographical importance of the Red Sea. This will be followed by a glance at the recent rise of non-state actors and how they affect global society with the help of three case studies of Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah. After this, the paper will provide a brief history of what led to the rise of the Houthi movement. Then the paper delves into the Red Sea crisis in depth including its timeline, how the Israel-Palestine war caused it and the role the US and Iran have played in it.  Furthermore, the paper inspects how this crisis is affecting some of the major powers of the world.  Finally, the paper will conclude with some recommendations on how the crisis can be solved, and how the Red Sea area can be kept stable in the future.

Keywords: Red Sea crisis, non-state actors, Houthis, Hamas, Taliban, Hezbollah, Israel-Palestine war, U.S., Iran. 


Although the Red Sea is known for its natural beauty with extensive coral reefs it is also an important shipping route for the oil tankers through the Suez Canal. A glance at the map of the Middle East shows the great strategic importance of the Red Sea. In a few words, it is the heart of the area and the link between two worlds. Even before the Suez Canal came into being, the Sea had been of importance serving as a bridge between the richest areas of Europe and the Far East. 

After the construction of the Suez Canal, this new seaway replaced the older route around the Cape of Good Hope. Consequently, the region has become an important route for the transportation of oil from Bab el-Mandeb in the south to the Canal in the North. Its ports are used to transport Gulf oil. This newfound importance will continue as long as oil remains a primary source of energy which seems to be true for the near future. Additionally, the Red Sea is also a vital route for military forces to their bases in different parts of the world. Due to this and other exogenous factors it is surrounded by regional powers having their mutual disagreements. Regional conflicts in the Red Sea affect international interests and in this way could escalate into a full-fledged war involving the multiple powers who share a vested interest in it. This is slowly becoming a reality in the past decades. Several powers, particularly the United States are interested in the Red Sea and the developments along this waterway. Therefore, the Red Sea is an important theater for both regional and international conflict.

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Author: Pranav Nair