Home/Daniel Larison/The U.S. Must End Its Support for the War on Yemen

The U.S. Must End Its Support for the War on Yemen

U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen is more extensive than the administration has admitted:

But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.

With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

This report makes a mockery of the arguments the administration has used against Congressional efforts to rein in and end U.S. support for the war. The U.S. has always been a party to the conflict through its support of the bombing campaign, and this shows that the U.S. is now involved in assisting the Saudis against the Houthis on the ground as well. There can now be no question that the U.S. is a party to the conflict and U.S. forces have been introduced into hostilities as participants in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

U.S. involvement in the conflict is greater than administration officials have acknowledged. Even if administration officials did not technically lie to Congress (because this mission falls under the heading of “military advice” given to Riyadh), it still appears that the administration has misled members of Congress and the public about the extent and nature of U.S. military assistance to the Saudis. With any luck, the administration’s lack of transparency during the recent debate over S.J.Res. 54 will motivate more members of Congress to oppose our unnecessary and shameful involvement in the war on Yemen.

It is worth noting that the presence of U.S. forces to assist the Saudis against Houthi missile attacks would not be necessary if the U.S. had never supported the intervention in the first place. The Saudi claim that their war is one of self-defense is spurious, since they are the ones that intervened and they are the ones bombing Yemeni cities on a daily basis. The Saudis would have no need of U.S. assistance against missile strikes if they halted their bombing campaign and lifted the blockade they have imposed on Yemen.

The New York Timescalls for a halt to U.S. military assistance to the Saudis and their allies:

Although neither Prince Mohammed nor Mr. Trump seem seriously interested, the United Nations is planning to put forward a new proposal to restart peace negotiations. Congress could improve the chance of success by cutting off military aid to Saudi Arabia and voting to bar the use of American troops against the Houthis in Yemen.

The U.S. should never have had anything to do with this war. Ending U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition is long overdue, and I hope this latest report spurs Congress to do what it should have done earlier this year.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles