fbpx
Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Yemen Strikes Raise Question: Back Into the Middle East?

State of the Union: Is the era of illegal wars for unclear strategic interests back?

TOPSHOT-YEMEN-PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-PROTEST

Per the White House, American and British forces struck targets held by Houthi in Yemen yesterday, following ongoing rebel harassment of shipping in the Red Sea. While the U.S. has an interest in keeping shipping lanes open, this particular action has a familiar feel to it; we need answers to some questions if we’re not going to get fooled again.

First is the constitutional question of under what authority President Biden ordered these strikes. Comparisons to the First Barbary War are facile; while Congress did not make a formal declaration of war, Jefferson still requested legislative authorization. The current Congress has taken an active interest in recovering its war powers; last year saw the repeal of two Iraq-related authorizations for the use of military force. Doing things by the book was one of Biden’s talking points on the campaign trail; what gives?

Advertisement

The second question is practical: Are we about to enter another war in the Middle East, and, if so, where and for what? The usual suspects seem to be agitating not only for intervention in Yemen, but for direct action against Iran.

I am going to go out on a limb to say that disregarding the Constitution is bad, and that another war in the Middle East does not serve American interests. Will the Republican establishment take off the cheerleading uniforms and do its job?