External influence has played a central role in the Yemeni conflict. Powers seeking to extend power and establish dominance have manipulated Yemen’s diversity as a way to gain influence. Other powers seem to be using Yemen as a way to step into regional power vacuums. At the same time, diplomatic activity has been used as a way to maintain interests and sustain polar uniqueness. Each of these areas of influence are key to understanding the current conflict and for determining a path ahead. This paper examines these avenues and specifically looks at key developments leading up to the current conflict. These include the six wars waged by Ali Abdullah Saleh against the Houthis, the political game shifts in Yemen, the weakening of the state and other factors that led to the take-over Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa.