Deputy war is a well-known concept. It has existed far back in history, and in modern times it has become a very common part of the conflict picture around the earth. For superpowers, or for regional powers, this can be an opportune way to fix things. On the one hand you get others to do the dirty work, and if something goes seriously wrong, you can close the waterproof shutters, disclaim responsibility and sit back with seemingly clean hands.
Just look at the current situation in Yemen. The country is bleeding and perishing in human suffering, and sometimes it is seen as another heinous civil war. That neighboring Saudi Arabia has become involved in the form of support for one of the warring parties can be naively explained by the fact that the Saudis simply want to calm things down. . .
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