• Mads Andreas Worm
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
In 2015, the Saudi-led intervention, Operation Decisive Storm, was launched in Yemen. The intervention came as a response to the Houthi movement’s increased control and military progression in Yemen. Today, five years later, the situation in Yemen is, according to the UN, the world’s largest food security crisis with more than 24 million Yemenis currently in need of assistance and protection.
Based on a case study of the official justification of the intervention set forth in March 2015 to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by the Saudi-led coalition, this study provides an analysis of the stated reasons for intervening and assesses to what extent these reasons can be considered just. Furthermore, the actual execution of the intervention is also analyzed in order to establish a holistic assessment of Operation Decisive Storm. For this purpose, this thesis includes a report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen, mandated by the UNSC, regarding information of acts that threaten the peace, security or stability in Yemen.
Through detailed analyses, this thesis examines the justification and the execution based on the conditions and principles of Michael Walzer’s Just War Theory, which, as far as my research tells me, has not previously been applied to the 2015 intervention in Yemen. The analyses show that the coalition justifies the intervention by asserting that it is required in order to ensure the security of the Yemeni People, coming to the aid of the Yemeni President Hadi, and to ensure the security of their own countries. The actual execution of the intervention is primarily based on an extensive air campaign.
When these assertions and actions are analyzed and assessed in a rather strict Just War Theory framework, while keeping the context in which the intervention unfolds in mind, it is highlighted that these do only meet some, and not all conditions and principles of Just War Theory.
The discussion highlights some of the challenges and limitations that I have encountered in the process of undertaking this study. This includes a critical review of the chosen methodology, the theoretical framework, and the findings in the analysis, as well as reflections on alternative ways to conduct and approach the field of conflict studies.
With the challenges and limitations reflected upon in the discussion, this thesis concludes that the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen cannot be considered just to any great extent, as both the justification and execution did not meet the conditions and principles of just war theory.
Publication date20 Apr 2020
Number of pages46
ID: 331167115