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The conflict in the Gaza Strip that began on October 7, 2023 propagated in more directions throughout the region. The Houthi[1] decision to become more active in support of the Palestinians is among the most visible outcomes of Gaza Strip developments. Consequently, since November 19, 2023, when Houthi operatives seized the Galaxy Leader vessel, new tensions emerged in the Red Sea at the beginning of 2024.

Background developments on the international scene are relatively complex, and at least partially similar to international tensions that precede larger conflicts throughout history. The expected peace that was supposed to emerge after the Cold War was interrupted by wars, mentioning here the ones from Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen among others. More recent developments that precede the 2024 Red Sea crisis at global level include the expansion of BRICS and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the attempt by Western powers to counter/compete it – an evolution that led to a race to militarize the Red Sea and Israel’s attempt to build an alternative to the Suez Canal together with its partners. The global international situation is also dominated by the conflict from Ukraine, relative positions of states and other international stakeholders on measures meant to tackle climate changes and a generally rising rhetoric related to confrontation. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the failed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and its counterparts attempt led to more tensions between an increasingly influential Iran and actors with opposing interests in this part of the world. Furthermore, the initially promising Abraham Accords framework appears to have become at least temporarily shadowed by the conflict taking place in the Gaza Strip.

European Union’s recent major dynamics include Brexit, i.e., a no-confidence vote from the United Kingdom (UK), a degrading economic outlook given various factors (the lack of European-sourced technologies like competitive operating systems, search engines and Artificial Intelligence tools, semiconductor industries) or recent factors like an incoherent long-term energy policy and rising energy costs. An imminent negative outlook has also the potential to favor political options like populism and thus potentially complicate EU’s external policy.

This article aims to frame European Union’s security perspectives in the context of the latest Red Sea developments. The ongoing situation in this region is being considered a crisis, in the sense of a short-term development that, from a constructive perspective, can be theoretically addressed directly or indirectly. The study will address EU’s security perspectives only, and not those of entire Europe, because the impact of Red Sea crisis on the block’s trade and energy supply has the potential to be significant in relative terms. Furthermore, the position of major EU states in the Gaza conflict has also a significant potential to lead to eventual an agreement with the Houthis, if declarations of the latter were to be considered.

Methodology and resources

The main assumptions of this study are that EU’s security perspectives are influenced by a series of existing conflicts within Europe or from neighboring regions and by the crisis overlooking the Red Sea region. Thus, the research will employ a crisis analysis framework. This is consistent with European Council’s approval of a “Crisis Management Concept” on January 29, 2024 that resulted in launching EUNAVFOR ASPIDES operation on February 19, 2024[2]. James McCormick noted that the definition of an international crisis depends on what decision makers consider the “definition of the situation” and that two major definition frameworks can be considered: one based on decisions within a nation and another one based on “interaction process between nations”[3].

On a more general scale, crisis analysis is employed in handling situations not only in analyzing international crises, with political, security or economic implications, like the 2024 Red Sea crisis, but also in other situations, like for example management of corporations. Crisis analysis theoretic constructs, among which the ones of Alpaslan, Green, Mitroff[4], Gonzales-Herrera and Pratt[5] can be mentioned. Strother defines a crisis in his description of his “Butterfly Theory of Crisis Management” as “a major event with extremely harmful effects to both internal and external stakeholders[6] which standard procedures cannot handle, and specifies that crisis management is a process meant to plan and respond to such events. In general, three stages of a crisis (pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis) are considered in literature from a process perspective. However, since the Red Sea crisis is an ongoing event at the time of this research, the process approach may not be exhaustively implemented. Therefore, an analysis focused on the pre-crisis and initial crisis stages, with a focus on identifying stakeholders, root causes, core problem and effects will be employed[7], similar to the tree model described in the cited UN document.

The 2024 Red Sea crisis: analysis and definition of the core problem

Defining the Red Sea crisis is a matter of perspective. Without disregarding the background of Yemeni conflict that started in 2014, it can be deterministically assumed that the Houthis represent an active actor, controlling territory in Yemen and having influence in the Red Sea irrespective of opinions on legitimacy of claims. As the main actor projecting power related to the Red Sea crisis, the Houthis decided to take steps they consider will indirectly contain Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip. The stated goal of the Houthis was to prevent ships from reaching Israel or departing from Israel, which is typical wartime practice frequently used throughout history. The legitimacy of Houthi position vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip conflict is not being analyzed, but considered as a de facto situation. Hence, from a Houthi perspective, the core problem is represented by Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, which was probably recognized as such by Israeli government. From an Israeli perspective however, it must be mentioned that Houthis’ actions did not lead to an Israeli military deployment to safeguard ships. Hence, the core problem claimed by the Houthis either did not lead to a critical situation for Israel, one that would require action – as the one from the Gaza Strip – or Israel did not possess the means to respond.

Consequently, at the time of this research, the core problem as defined by the Houthis is not symmetrically addressed by the Houthis and the Israelis: while the Houthis implement measures, they consider it would stop Israeli operations, whereas Israel neither stopped the Gaza Strip military offensive, nor countered Houthi actions. Houthi actions meant to counter Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip, although pursued independently, are in line with Iranian perspective on the Gaza Strip developments pursued by Israel and represents an escalation related to a conflict remote to Yemen.

Coalitions were formed in order to “safeguard” ships passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. The core problem claimed by the US, the UK and other countries that decided to counter Houthi action in the Red Sea by deploying military assets, is that ships did not enjoy freedom of navigation anymore in the Red Sea, a vital trade route. While this statement holds true, this might be also perceived as a further escalation meant to counter the activities carried out by the Houthis.

The Houthis declared that they target only ships related to Israel directly and indirectly. By deploying military missions to the Red Sea, the Western powers do not necessarily address the threat as it was defined by the Houthis themselves, but contest the aim of the Houthis to decide on which ships can pass through the strait and which not. The core problem as addressed by the alliances that deployed in the Red Sea becomes thus ensuring the freedom of navigation through this region irrespective of Houthi assessment on their right to do so or not.

Two further aspects are related to the core problem as perceived or defined by the Western coalitions: the lack of a viable alternative to this trade route leads to increase of prices and transportation time for traded goods. Second, allowing small powers like Yemen to set a precent by imposing its will on global affairs at such a high level can influence Western resolve on the international stage. In the context of a wider tendency toward multilateralism, such a precedent can turn into a liability for the European Union and the US.

Finally, an important aspect of the core problem is the lack of Western unity in addressing Houthi actions in the Red Sea, since no typical US-led coalition was deployed, but a separate American-British one, and EU missions. Certainly, the deployments have other implications besides addressing the Houthi threats, but the fact that NATO members did not act together as expected is an important aspect of the core problem related to the Red Sea crisis. From a European security perspective, the Red Sea crisis could represent a new challenge in a changing global landscape marked by increasingly confrontational rhetoric.

Stakeholders in the Red Sea crisis

As already mentioned, the central actor involved in this crisis are the Houthis, which are also called Ansar Allah, led by Abdul Malik al-Houthi. This organization governs a part of Yemen and controls the capital Sana’a after the controversial resignation of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in 2015 and his relocation to Saudi Arabia. The split between major factions in Yemen back in 2014/2015 led to a series of conflicts and intervention of various foreign actors like the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis. As of December 2023, the Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was praising the steps taken by the Houthis and Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (the successor of Mansour Hadi’s government which claims international recognition despite not controlling the country’s territory)[8].

It is not a secret that the Houthis who followed the Shia creed have good relations with Iran, recognizable in both declarations and alignment on regional issues. Similarly, the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council maintains good relations with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia did not appear eager to support the Red Sea missions against Houthi actions, advising restraint after the November 19 events[9].

A direct stakeholder in the Red Sea Crisis is Israel, since its shipments are supposedly targeted by the Houthi attacks. Israel is a dynamic regional player expanding its territory through annexations of land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (West Bank), annexations considered illegal by various international representatives and organizations, and its influence through negotiations and deals. However, the Palestinian issue appears to hinder major breakthroughs in achieving regional peace, despite consistent support from the US and other global powers. In the Red Sea crisis, Israel’s interests are negatively impacted by Houthis’ stance, and positively impacted by the presence of friendly international deployments. The entire region hopes for peace, but the form in which this is supposed to be achieved differs from country to country. The largely accepted and proposed solution for a two-state solution appears to be contested not only by Israel but by other regional actors as well.

Shipping companies, states in which they are based and sailors on targeted ships can also be mentioned as direct stakeholders in the Red Sea crisis. This category is very broad and it consists mainly of two sub-categories. The subcategory of actors that acknowledge Houthis’ claims to control the traffic due to indifference, convenience, or the fact that their passage is allowed encompasses Chinese and Russian ships at a minimum, and ships that claim to be either Chinese or Russian to secure safe transit[10]. The other subcategory of actors encompasses countries like the US, the UK and EU major economies, that do not enforce Houthis’ control and targeting certain vessels. Ships that fall in this subcategory either risk to come under fire or take the alternative route around Africa at increased cost and risk.

A major direct stakeholder is Egypt, whose revenues from the Suez Canal have drastically been affected by the Houthi action. For Egypt’s economy, the lost billions of USD dollars have a major impact, but it neither claimed directly to counter the Houthis, nor did it launch a safeguarding mission on its own. One hand, it does not directly border the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. On the other hand, Egypt is caught between its regional commitments, its relation with Israel, an instable neighborhood at its Southern borders, marked by tensions with Ethiopia and the conflict in Sudan, together with its aspirations to become one of the new vital natural gas suppliers for Europe after the discoveries in Eastern Mediterranean. As a new BRICS member, Egypt is also interested in preserving a long-term stability in the Red Sea that facilitates trade, investment and joint development with China and other BRICS members. Egypt is certainly not advantaged by a conflictual situation in the Red Sea that would increase motivation for developing alternative routes to the Suez Canal. Therefore, the EU’s mission presence would also benefit Egypt as well, should this be successful enough as to limit the conflictual potential that impacts Suez Canal revenues.

The assessment has presented so far stakeholders impacted negatively by the Red Sea Crisis, or the ones that have not been affected like for example Chinese vessels with a Chinese crew. However, from a purely liberal perspective, it can also be claimed that suppliers of fuel for ships taking the long alternative route through the South of Africa can benefit from more sales and insurers as well.

Possible root causes of the 2024 Red Sea crisis

The histories of Europe and MENA region are intertwined for millennia. Should any actor from these two regions desire to find a reason for collaboration, many examples of joint successes could be found throughout history. Likewise, should any actor desire to find a reason for conflict, many examples of conflicts between the two regions can be found. Therefore, European or MENA history’s role in any crisis from these regions is relative and difficult to assess. However, it is to be mentioned that more recent developments, like the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors, or the Egyptian nationalization of Suez Canal dating 1956, contributed to increasing regional insecurity and more tense relations with European governments. Although not under colonial rule in the classical sense, many Middle East countries are sensible to colonial tendencies and associations, the Mandates for example, with forms of colonialism.

The Houthi support for the Palestinians represents an important topic at population level in the Arab-Muslim world, but it is not limited to this. The case opened by South Africa against Israel at International Court of Justice (ICJ) in December 2023 represents an expression of solidarity with a cause South Africa argues to understand very well. Likewise, strong supporting positions of Malaysia and Indonesia for the Palestinian cause indicate their own sensibilities towards past and possibly present colonial tendencies of certain powers.

The presence of foreign troops in or around the MENA region (Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq) represents a major factor that contributes to local concerns. The significance of their presence has at least a double meaning: a conflictual state often perpetuated for very long periods, and the fact that a possible resolution is not negotiated but imposed. Consequently, the incentives for local population majorities, or hopes to reach stable and meaningful agreements with Western/European counterparts have been historically low and might continue to remain low. From a European security perspective, the agreement to disagree might have been acceptable in the 20th century, but from the perspective of an increasingly multipolar world, fundamentally different opinions may translate into favoring new alliances that exclude Europe.

At least three important factors appear to have increased sensibilities in the MENA region at population level: increasing the policy of sanctions around the world, a perceived interference in the internal affairs of states and extraterritorial application of national legislation in the name of a debatable self-defense, with or without legislative approval for government’s action. Of course, other exchanges and agreements may have impacted general feelings, but the two factors may have exacerbated public opinion. Furthermore, questionable historical episodes, like for example Colin Powell’s UNSC speech accusing Iraq of holding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), allegations which proved to be false, or the Fallujah killings, add to anxiety of MENA peoples when encountering Western powers decisions. Such precedents are important on long term for EU’s security, as they have emboldened groups like the Houthis to stop negotiating and pursue, for example, extraterritorial application of internal laws and regulations, i.e. in international waters, similar to past practices of other states.

Conclusively, the main root causes of the 2024 Red Sea crisis that affects shipping through the Suez Canal, a vital route for European and global trade, may be connected to a historical conflictual situation and exacerbated to unsustainable levels by the ongoing Palestinian cause. A relatively recent rapprochement between Israel and some Persian Gulf Arab states and other MENA states was expected to put the region on a more stable path. However, due to various foreseeable or unforeseeable aspects of these agreements, adding to an ongoing violence in Gaza, and national policies throughout the region, the policies are yet to deliver more results.

Preliminary effects of the Red Sea crisis

Since the 2024 Red Sea crisis is an ongoing event at the time of this research, a thorough assessment of its effects is relatively difficult, especially concerning long-term and global effects. The core problems stated by the parties were the Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip for the Houthis and the lacking freedom of navigation for vessels in the Red Sea for the parties affected by Houthi extraterritorial “sanctions” and their “enforcement.”

An internally struggling Yemen became the centerpiece of a new Red Sea crisis on the 19 of November 2023, when the Houthis seized the Galaxy Leader vessel. Ray Car Carriers own Galaxy Leader; a company registered in the Isle of Man and founded/owned by the Israeli businessperson Abraham “Rami” Ungar[11]. Since its capturing, the vessel has been made available for visits and images and videos of visitors stepping on Israeli and American flags emerged[12]. The latest position available for this ship at the time of this study was registered on February 27, 2024, at 00:47 UTC, and it was situated in the North-West part of Hodeida, i.e. in the Saleef Port/as-Salif[13].

As of February 22, 2024, an Aljazeera report was mentioning that at least 40 ships had come under attack since November 19 in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, a waterway that was crossed by an estimated 21344 ships in 2023, or on average 59 ships per day (12 % of global trade)[14]. The consequences of this situation were multiple. On the 23 February, 2024, 103 ships passed the Cape of Good Hope, with a 7-day moving average of 92.43 ships, which represents a significant increase from the 50 ships that passed on February 23, 2023, with the back-then 7-day moving average of 39.96 ships[15]. To put this into perspective, on February 23, 2023, there were 78 ships passing through the Suez Canal, with a 7-day moving average of 69.43 ships and on February 23, 2024, only 40 ships passed through the Suez Canal with a 7-day moving average of 36.14 ships (slightly over half from the previous reference date). The shipping time increased significantly in relative terms, and very significantly for the ships that had to take the alternative route. For example, the Shanghai – Rotterdam route through the Suez Canal takes 33 days, but through the Cape of Good Hope 43 days (30.3 % increase). In the meantime, the Odessa – Port of Djibouti route increased from 8 days through the Suez Canal to 38 days through the Cape of Good Hope (375 % increase)[16].

As previously mentioned, this tendency had a negative impact on prices and availability of goods traded between Europe and Asia. According to sources citing insurance business specialists, the most affected goods are crude oil and cars, if the Suez Canal came to a halt[17]. Reports on crude oil prices or how companies were affected indicate significant short-term impact of the Red Sea crisis in December 2023 – February 2024, but apparently not very significant on longer term as of March 2024. However, a Nikkei Asia report hints that the Red Sea crisis has the potential to cost the shipping capacity with 20 %: the ships can take an alternative route, which is longer, at higher cost. The fact that journeys take longer affect the general availability of ships to transport goods since they are booked for a longer period for the same goods transported previously in a shorter time[18]. Therefore, in order to maintain shipping capacity with the detour around the Cape of Good Hope, new shipping capacity should be added as well.

In general, large trade businesses and supporting industries appear to be negatively affected by the Red Sea crisis, but other companies could benefit from this development. For example, reports indicate that the Duqm refinery from Oman (a joint venture between Kuwait Petroleum and Omani state oil company QQ aiming to serve East Africa and India) is well positioned for capitalizing on the situation, as the competitors from West Africa or India may encounter difficulties with shipments[19].

On January 12, 2024, a US-UK coalition began to strike Houthi targets as retaliation to attacks on ships passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait[20]. The so-called coalition headed by the two powers has been reportedly encompassing more stated, with some of them secret/unnamed. However, coalitions with rapidly incoming and outgoing members have become a typical attribute for operations in this region in recent history, hence its componence will not analyzed in detail.

The EU’s Operation EUNAVFOR Aspides factsheet published on February 2, 2024, mentions that the mission is coordinated from Larissa (Greece) and operates four frigates and one aerial asset. Its role is to protect vessels, accompany vessels and reinforce maritime situational awareness in the Red Sea theater, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2722[21]. While the operation may contribute to safe passage of ships through the Red Sea, analysists noticed that it is a “parallel” operation to the US-led one and hinted that “fissures” in the Western security architecture may have appeared[22]. Operation Aspides, with France, Italy, Germany, and Greece coordinating is presented as a step the EU wants to take towards security independence. From a military command and control point of view, this can indicate indeed a shift. However, in the wider context of the conflict from Ukraine and previous American calls for Europe to start spending more on defense, European arms imports surged 43 between 2013 – 2017 and 2018 – 2022, while the US dominance in arms trade increased [23]. The trend continued in 2023, a year for which the US reported a record $ 238 billion in military sales, fueled also by countries that sought to replace stocks sent to Ukraine and prepare for future conflicts[24]. Consequently, while Operation Aspides could be assessed as a step forward towards EU’s security independence, its security architecture and resolve in crises may require further systematic improvements.

Conclusion and remarks

This article analyzed the recent Red Sea developments that led to Houthi actions diverting ships from the Suez Canal to the Cape of Good Hope with the potential to significantly impact EU’s trade. The developments represents an evolving crisis, whose elements have been analyzed according to a tree model encompassing root causes, stakeholders, core problem and effects and limited to the effects observed by the time of writing. The study identified that the presence of foreign missions in the Red Sea benefit regional countries like Egypt and Israel, besides EU and Asian parties involved in trade and their consumers especially when the shipment cannot/does not report to Houthis information supposed to ensure safe passage.

The EU’s new security ambitions are affected at present by record spending on arms and increasing energy costs. New European strategies meant to create a more competitive industrial military complex may become more competitive in the future (for example, the EU plans to purchase at least 50 % of arms from the internal market from 2035), but it also implies that the potential for conflicts around the world could increase. In a 21st century global environment in which industrial production capacity increased exponentially when compared to a century ago, and with indicators for environmental fatigue, further long-term security consideration may have to be considered. When prioritizing conflict over negotiations, one must ensure in advance that this serves a better cause and that the conflict could be won. Nevertheless, the Red Sea crisis can be assessed as a first significant conflict in which the EU signalized the intention to begin developing more internal defense capacity to be used independently. As a result, the security collaborates in the future with the aim to improve its overall security perspectives.



[1] The terms Houthi/Houthis Ansar Allah are utilized in this paper to designate the organization that targets vessels in the Red Sea region with the stated purpose of determine Israel to stop the Gaza Strip operations. The term does not imply any endorsement or non-endorsement related to sovereignty or control of Yemeni state territory whatsoever. It does not have any connection to political process in Yemen as well and it is used strictly in the context of Red Sea Crisis as defined in this paper, for the purposes defined in this article.

[2] EUNAVFOR Operation Aspides. 2024. About the Operation EUNAVFOR ASPIDES. February 20, 2024. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[3] McCormick, James M. “International Crises: A Note on Definition.” The Western Political Quarterly 31, no. 3 (1978): 352–58.

[4] Alpaslan, Can & Green jr, Sandy & Mitroff, Ian. (2009). “Corporate Governance in the Context of Crises: Towards a Stakeholder Theory of Crisis Management”. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. 17. 38 – 49. 10.1111/j.1468-5973.2009.00555.x.

[5] Strother, Stuart. (2016). “Butterfly Theory of Crisis Management”. In book: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance (pp.1-5) 10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_883-1.

[6] Ibid. Strohter 2016.

[7] United Nations Sustainable Development Group. UN Conflict Analysis Practice Note. Version 13 May 2016. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[8] Ganot, Steven (The Media Line). Arab League Hails Yemen Agreement as Positive Step Toward Lasting Peace. In newspaper The Media Line. Published 26.12.2023. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[9] Aziz El Yaakoubi, and Parisa Hafezi (Reuters). Saudi Arabia urges US restraint as Houthis attack ships in Red Sea. In newspaper Reuters. Published 07.12.2023. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[10] Loh, Matthew. Some ships in the Red Sea have declared themselves ‘all Chinese,’ seemingly in hopes of avoiding Houthi attacks. In newspaper Business Insider. Published 15.01.2024. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[11] Dixon, Gary. Galaxy Leader owner says nothing more can be achieved by holding crew hostage. In newspaper TradeWinds. Published 04.12.2023. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[12] ***Reuters. Seized ‘Israeli ship’ Galaxy Leader becomes tourist hotspot. In newspaper Ynet Published 06.12.2023. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[13] *** Accessed March 02, 2024.

[14] Hanna Duggal and Mohammed Haddad (AJLabs). Mapping the Red Sea attacks. How Houthi attacks on one of the world’s main maritime trade routes have impacted international trade. Published 22.02.2024. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[15] ***MacroMicro database. IMF – Cape of Good Hope – Total Number of Ships & Transit Volume. Accessed March 03, 2024.

[16] Ibid. Hanna Duggal and Mohammed Haddad (AJLabs) 2024.

[17] ***AdvantageGo/Ian Summers. The Big Question: Is the Red Sea crisis creating new risks for insurers? Accessed March 03, 2024.

[18] Kenji Asada and Kaori Yoshida (Nikkei). Red Sea attacks threaten to cut global shipping capacity 20%. In newspaper Nikkei Asia. Published 23.12.2023. Accessed March 03, 2024.

[19] Benny, John. Oman’s $9bn refinery could benefit as Red Sea disruption affects global competition. In newspaper The National News. Published 01.03.2024. Accessed March 03, 2024.

[20] Iordache, Ruxandra (CNBC). Middle East crisis: Houthis say U.S., U.K. will pay a ‘heavy price’ after Yemen strikes. In CNBC online. Published 12.01.2024. Accessed March 03, 2024.

[21] EUNAVFOR Operation Aspides. 2024. EUNAVFOR OPERATION ASPIDES. February 19, 2024. Accessed March 02, 2024.

[22] Helou, Agnes. Why the European Union and United States are leading ‘parallel’ security operations in the Red Sea. In newspaper Breaking Defense. Published 28.02.2024. Accessed March 03, 2024.

[23] SIPRI. Surge in arms imports to Europe, while US dominance of the global arms trade increases.

[24] Stone, Mike. US arms exports hit record high in fiscal 2023. In Reuters online. Published 29.01.2024. Accessed March 03, 2024.

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About the author:

Ecaterina MATOI and Flavius CABA-MARIA

Prof. Ecaterina MATOI is the Program Director at MEPEI. Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA is the President at MEPEI.


  1. Khanh says:

    This covered the perspective of the European looking at the other faction as a problem. Very similar to nuclear non proliferation from an American perspective. The other people present a problem. And we deal with them with the attitude of removing a problem.
    I think academic can help remove the colored lenses and see problems from the perspective of ameliorating the people resistance. Usually they are the terrorist in a conflict. By focusing on the needs and root cause of the resistance you can usually end conflicts and security concern much quicker than looking at it from the aggressor or dominant faction view.

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