Colum Lynch reports on the the failed Saudi-led war on Yemen:

For nearly two-and-a-half years, Saudi Arabia and its allies, equipped with American-built aircraft and precision-guided rockets, have prosecuted one of the most advanced airpower campaigns against one of the world’s poorest countries.

But the Saudi-led coalition’s overwhelming military superiority has brought them no closer to victory. Instead, it has furthered Yemen’s political fragmentation, deepened a humanitarian crisis that has brought the country to the brink of famine, and fed widespread public resentment in response to high civilian casualties, according to a confidential U.N. report reviewed by Foreign Policy.

The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention in Yemen is a failure on its own terms, but it is important to remember that it would be an indefensible war even if it had been more successful. The coalition’s stated goals of restoring Hadi to power and driving Houthis from the capital remain as unrealistic as ever, but they were lousy reasons for a military intervention in the first place. Over two years later, even members of the coalition are now working against their intended puppet, and the “legitimate” government has little or no control in the south:

Yemen’s internationally recognized leader, President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is on the ropes. His authority has been undercut by militias funded and controlled by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the very countries fighting to restore him to power.

Several of Hadi’s top ministers have broken ranks, establishing a separate transitional council with visions of governing the southern Yemen. The council, according to the U.N. panel of experts, enjoys sufficient support within the Yemeni military “to constitute a significant threat to President Hadi’s ability to govern in the south.”

It has been obvious for quite some time that the “legitimate” government of Yemen doesn’t and cannot govern any part of Yemen, but the coalition has no business trying to govern Yemen in its place. The intervention has been and remains wholly illegitimate, and in its devastating effects on the civilian population it has proven to be one of the most destructive and senseless military interventions of our time. It is to the enduring shame of the U.S. and the coalition’s other Western backers that our governments have made such a disgraceful intervention possible.

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