The UN resolution that condemns the Houthis does not authorize the use of force, though it acknowledges the right of self-defence for the countries whose vessels have been attacked.
If the objective is to stop Houthi attacks without escalating matters toward a full war, then bombing them has proven quite inefficient in the past as Saudi Arabia knows full well.
Bombing the Houthis will very likely escalate matters, which means that not only will the attacks not be stopped, but a broader war may become a reality.
Indeed, if the objective is to stop them, a de-escalation in Gaza is far more likely to succeed. The Houthis have declared that they will stop if Israel stops, and hostilities were stopped for 6 days in November, when there was only one attack in the Red Sea that can be attributed to the Houthis.
A ceasefire would also pacify tensions in Iraq/Syria with the US occupiers, not to mention help win the release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
The question then is why the US and the UK are so adamant about rejecting the policy that is most likely to succeed and instead pursuing the policy that is the most likely to escalate matters even further?
This shows, once more, that for every day that there is no ceasefire in Gaza, we will move closer and closer to the war spreading and the US once again fighting a war of choice in the Middle East.
Dr Trita Parsi, Exec VP, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft