End the War on Yemen

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By: DANIEL LARISON

The Washington Post calls for an end to U.S. support for the war on Yemen:It is long past time to end U.S. support for this misbegotten and unwinnable war.

Naturally, I agree with the editorial calling for a halt to U.S. support for the Saudi coalition. I have been saying much the same thing ever since the war on Yemen began in 2015. This is an important sign that pressure is building on the administration and the Saudi coalition because of the many documented war crimes that the coalition has committed with U.S. assistance. The call for ending U.S. support for the war is three years late, but it is nonetheless welcome.

The Trump administration will ignore the Post‘s call to end the war just as they are ignoring the conditions set by Congress on U.S. military assistance to the coalition. Congress will have to do much more than that if they are going to force the administration to cut off the Saudis and their allies. Challenging the president on war powers is the only sure way to do this. It is essential that members of Congress recognize that U.S. support for the war on Yemen is both abhorrent and illegal, and they must put a stop to it. The Senate failed both the U.S. and Yemen when they blew their chance to do this earlier this year, and they should make up for that failure now.

No U.S. interests have been served through involvement in this war. On the contrary, the war has undermined U.S. security, bolstered Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and made our government complicit in numerous war crimes. U.S. participation in the war has been a shameful, ugly affair that will go down as one of the worst policies in modern U.S. history. Our government has spent the last three years helping cruel despotic regimes devastate and starve a poor country whose people did nothing to us and posed no threat to anyone. Many tens of thousands of Yemenis have already perished, and millions more lives are at risk from starvation and disease as long as the war drags on. The U.S. has it in its power to put an end to it, but our government has to be willing to anger and alienate the reckless clients that it has supported up until now.

U.S. involvement must end at once, but beyond that it is crucial that the U.S. never enable another senseless war like this again. Our government’s relationships with the Saudis and the UAE in particular will have to be reevaluated and significantly downgraded in the coming years, and the baleful influence of their governments on our foreign policy debate needs to be exposed and countered. It will not be enough to halt an atrocious policy if the causes of that policy are left untouched.