News Analysis

By Drew Phelps

The ongoing civil war in Yemen – a war in which Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally, has been intricately involved – has made headlines in recent weeks as the conflict has escalated.

In particular, a bolstered bombing campaign by the Saudis and a newly-instated blockade of Yemeni ports has many Americans wondering about the extent of our involvement in Yemen.

Despite the fact that our leaders have never explicitly endorsed action in Yemen, “Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the U.S. military for intelligence sharing, refueling flights for coalition warplanes, and the transfer of American-made cluster bombs, rockets, and other munitions used against targets in Yemen,” according to a published report.

What justification are our politicians using for this war by association? A post-9/11 authorization meant to allow our troops to combat those responsible for the attacks.

Yes, this over-decade-old act, officially called an authorization of the use of military force (AUMF), is what our Congressional leaders use to explain our entanglement in places like Yemen.

U.S. Soldiers Died in Yemen Under Same Authorization

Remember those soldiers who were killed in Niger last month? They were there under this same authorization.

As can be seen in this video though, many of our leaders fail to show much interest in doing anything about it, or even having a discussion.

In Yemen, our complicity is especially appalling.

The U.N. recently warned that a continued blockade by the Saudis, with no outside aid permitted, would likely cause the world’s largest famine in decades – 7 million people currently face crisis.

The Saudi bombing missions have proven just as harmful and civilian structures, from offices and factories to schools, are often the target.

According to BBC News, “More than 160 attacks against medical facilities and personnel in Yemen have been carried out in the past two years by the warring parties.”

UNICEF estimates that a child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes in the civil war-hit country.

Though some of our elected officials have sought a new AUMF, Congressional leadership has mostly resisted. It is expected that some sort of discussion will take place, and Yemen will undoubtedly be a topic of contention, but no action is expected that would end our involvement in unnecessary and devastating humanitarian conflicts.



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