The United States continues to tacitly support Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’s military campaign in Yemen even as the country implodes, Iran’s influence grows and U.S. allies sink into the quagmire. The U.S. government calculated that supporting its allies in favor of preventing Iranian encroachment offers more value than the fallout from the humanitarian crisis.
Latest in Yemen
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’s deepening intervention in Yemen is the triumph of hope over experience. Riyadh’s latest campaign in Yemen began in 2015 to topple the then-triumphant Houthi rebels, whom Saudi leaders considered too close to Iran. Rather than dissuading their good buddies in Riyadh from this dangerous course, the UAE too has plunged into the morass, also hoping to set back Iran.
Over the last several days Emirati, Saudi, and Yemeni troops launched an offensive aimed at recapturing the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. The port city, which accounts for 70 percent of imports into the country, is also a key source of income for the Houthis, a militia group that receives smuggled Iranian missiles and which has controlled the city and the port since October 2014.
Earlier this evening, the U.S. Senate voted to table the motion to discharge S.J. Res. 54, the joint resolution seeking to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, making it unlikely that the joint resolution will see further action.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 28, a bipartisan coalition of senators introduced a proposed new joint resolution seeking to compel the Trump administration to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. This resolution has already kicked off a new round of what is, in our view, a much-needed debate about the merits of U.S.
Yesterday evening, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) released a joint resolution seeking to compel the removal of U.S. forces from hostilities in Yemen.
Joint Resolution on Yemen
Yemen is in the midst of an unfathomable humanitarian crisis. International organizations have warned that Yemenis will soon face the world’s largest famine in decades, brought on by a war that has ravaged the country for the past several years.
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It is hardly uncommon for the United States to use force against AQAP targets in Yemen. Since 2012, we’ve averaged more than two dozen operations every year (see, e.g., here and here). By and large, these operations don’t generate headlines (the airstrike that killed U.S.