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Airstrikes Garner Cross-Aisle Support In US & UK In Election Year


Following the joint US/UK strikes on Houthi rebel targets in Yemen on 11/12 Jan, the impact of the military action will not only be felt in the Middle East, but also politically within the United States and United Kingdom, with both at the outset of election years. In both the strikes have garnered the support of lawmakers from governing and opposition parties.

  • In the US, "Leading Republican senators urged the Biden administration to continue taking tough action against Iran and its proxies, which include the Houthis of Yemen...Democrats also welcomed the strike but emphasized the need to avoid escalation and for continued diplomatic efforts."
  • In the UK, leader of the main opposition Labour party Sir Keir Starmer said that he supports the actions, but that PM Rishi Sunak must make a statement to parliament at the first available opportunity as well as present the gov'ts legal justification for the strikes.
  • With elections just months away, the political impacts of the airstrikes could swing either way. In the US they could promote the view of President Joe Biden as a strong leader willing to take tough decisions to keep America safe, or draw people towards Donald Trump's more isolationist foreign policy stance.
  • In the UK, foreign policy and notably the response to the war in Ukraine is one of the few areas where Sunak's Conservatives poll alongside or better than Labour. While Israel's war against Hamas is a more divisive public issue in the UK, airstrikes on Houthis attacking shipping could rally some public support to the PM.

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