Red Sea airstrikes, EU enlargement plans: Roundup on the Four Pillars

Jan 22, 2024News

Minh Nguyen is the Editor of the Boston Global Forum and a Shinzo Abe Initiative Fellow. She writes the Four Pillars column in the BGF Weekly newsletter.


Airstrikes and attacks continue on in the Red Sea region, between the Pillars of the US and UK and the Houthis. In fact, the US is preparing to hunker down in their campaign against the Houthis and protect shipping lanes. However, it does not seem likely that a ground campaign will be conducted – and for the better. The Pillars should continue to secure shipping lanes in the region, as states that are concerned with upholding the global trade regime and international system. Furthermore, global food supplies rely on these protections now too.

On the Israeli front, PM Netanyahu has confirmed that he would not stand for a Palestinian state. This narrows the opportunities for peace greatly, and the Pillars would do well to find a way for a peace deal that would allow for a two-state solution, even if it may appear unattractive to both parties in the war.

In the EU, a Pillar, the European Commission prepares to develop a program for enlarging the EU, to over 30 members. EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, a recipient of the AIWS World Peace and Security Award, announced the plan in the last week. This is important, as the integration of more countries into the EU and its system stands to unify the continent and bolster its status in the world. While the EU has issues within itself, enlargement would help uplift those who are not in too.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the US and the Philippines continue and enhance their cooperation against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. It is important that the Pillars continue to maintain allies and gather new ones in the face of rising Chinese aggression and bullying in the region and in the world.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen | Pool photo by Benoit Doppagne via Getty Images