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The U.S. Shouldn’t Support Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

Sarah Phillips draws attention to the humanitarian crisis that the Saudi air attacks on Yemen are creating:

Civilian casualties from the bombings are already mounting, but the consequences will spread beyond this sad tally. Yemen imports around 90% of its wheat and all of its rice. With its runways bombed and airports closed, Yemen’s already food-insecure population is in a dire humanitarian predicament.

This makes it even more important that the U.S. stop aiding the Saudis with their intervention and try to get Riyadh halt this operation before it inflicts any more damage on the country. It is bad enough that U.S. clients are doing this, but it is even worse that U.S. is supporting it. It makes no sense for the U.S. to assist in wrecking Yemen for the sake of reinstalling an unpopular president. If another authoritarian state were doing what Saudi Arabia is doing to Yemen now, we all know that every Western government would be condemning it as unprovoked aggression against its neighbor. I know that isn’t how Western governments are going to treat the Saudis, but our government could at least refuse to participate in any way in this dangerous and unnecessary military intervention.

Phillips concludes:

The notion that outsiders now need to “pick a side” between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen is extremely dangerous.

If the Saudis insist on pursuing their rivalry with Iran to the point of attacking their neighbors, the U.S. should be looking for ways to rein them in or else start considering how to reduce our support for Saudi Arabia.

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.

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