To follow the US or not into conflict — that is the question.

by Eldar Mamedov, Responsible Statecraft

As the United States plunges ever deeper into a fresh Middle East conflagration — this time fighting Iran-backed non-state actors, including Yemen’s Houthis and Shiite resistance groups in Syria and Iraq — its closest allies from the EU and NATO stand divided.

These divisions reflect a long-standing failure of the EU member states and institutions to speak with “one voice” on the Middle East.

US military jets over Iraq

When the U.S. called for an international coalition to stop the Yemen-based Houthi militias attacks on the international shipping in the Red Sea, only a few European nations signed the joint statement: the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Italy. Of that initial group, only Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, plus Greece joined as the European contingent of “Operation Prosperity Guardian.”

Others like France, while condemning the Houthi attacks, expressed preference for an autonomous, European-led operation. Still others, like Spain, were skeptical of any involvement in any anti-Houthi action whatsoever.

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