Four House members are sponsoring a bill that would end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen:
Four lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that would halt U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen on grounds that Congress has never approved the American role in the war.
Two House Republicans and two Democrats submitted the bill on Wednesday evening, but other lawmakers have already conveyed their support for the measure, congressional aides told Foreign Policy.
The bill requires “the removal” of U.S. forces from the war in Yemen unless and until Congress votes to authorize the American assistance. For more than two years, the United States military has provided aerial refueling tankers and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
Democratic Reps. Khanna and Pocan and Republican Reps. Massie and Jones are the co-sponsors of the bill, and they deserve a lot of credit for working on this and bringing attention to a conflict and our government’s role in it. The U.S. role in supporting the war should receive much more scrutiny than it has, and this bill provides members of Congress with the opportunity to debate the indefensible policy that has implicated the U.S. in the crimes of the Saudis and their allies. One of the reasons that U.S. support for the war has gone on for so long with so little opposition is that Congress has failed to challenge the Obama and Trump administrations’ decisions to back the coalition. This bill offers the chance to do what Congress should have been doing for the last two years.
Ending U.S. support for the war would also put a stop to another violation of U.S. law:
The Saudi-led coalition has come under intense scrutiny in Congress over its refusal since January to permit the delivery of four cranes financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development to the port of Hodeida. The World Food Programme and other aid groups say the cranes are crucial for unloading emergency food and medical supplies from ships arriving at the port amid a mounting humanitarian catastrophe.
The blockade on the cranes violates international law and the Geneva Conventions, human rights groups say. And by continuing to provide military assistance to the coalition, the United States could be violating U.S. law, according to a legal opinion from the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights.
U.S. involvement in the war is not only unauthorized, but it is enabling the commission of war crimes and other violations of international law. Ending that involvement could also be the first step in forcing the coalition to halt its campaign and blockade. All House members should join their four colleagues in calling for a stop to U.S. backing for the disgraceful and atrocious war on Yemen.