The Hill: Biden Doubles Down on a Failed Yemen Policy


When running for office, President Biden promised to “make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil.” In the context of the Yemen conflict, fulfilling this promise may not be easy, but it is clear: In Biden’s own words, America must “end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.” Unfortunately, the administration’s response to the recent escalation in the conflict has been to revert to the same failed playbook as previous administrations, risking further complicity in the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) coalition’s violations.

Tara Sepehri Far, deputy director of the Human Rights Watch office, publised an article in”The Hill” website considered that, U.S. policymakers should take bold actions aimed at stopping the ongoing violations and support accountability in Yemen. For years, Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented serious abuses on “both sides,” she said.



These include more than 90 unlawful and indiscriminate airstrikes by the coalition against civilians that could amount to war crimes. Some of the attacks included the use of U.S. weapons.
Though U.S. law prohibits selling arms to abusive governments, consecutive administrations have authorized at least $36 billion in arms sales to the Saudi and UAE governments, based on publicly available data. In doing so, the U.S. has chosen to ignore or enable serious international law violations, including possible war crimes, committed during the conflict.


In addition to potentially violating U.S. law, continuing arms sales to the coalition puts the U.S. at risk of complicity in possible war crimes.
The sales also fly in the face of justice and accountability for previous violations given the coalition’s dreadfully flawed investigations of its own strikes.

Human Rights Watch and other Yemeni and international groups have called upon the U.S. and its allies to halt arm sales to the coalition. If the Biden administration cannot or will not act, Congress needs to step in. Specifically, Congress should publicly and privately communicate to the administration that arms sales to the coalition should stop and that the Ansarullah should not be redesignated a “terrorist” group.