U.S. Must Defeat Houthis’ Asymmetric Warfare Strategy

The Houthis’ asymmetric warfare has inflicted real costs on the United States. Though largely successful in intercepting Houthi projectile attacks, the United States has done so by depleting significant sums of key tactical missiles—at a cost of nearly $1 billion thus far—to defeat inexpensive drones and missiles assembled from Iranian-supplied component parts, thereby harming U.S. military readiness. This approach is not sustainable.

The United States must find a way to stop Houthi attacks in the short-term by imposing prohibitive costs on the Houthis and their Iranian and Hezbollah backers. Over the medium- and long-term, the United States should develop more cost-effective means for protecting against such drone and missile threats by accelerating research and development of directed energy weapons systems, such as the Israeli Iron Beam system.