By: Kelly Choate
Now entering its fourth year, Yemen’s horrific war has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – and the United States is actively helping to fuel the fire. But legislation put forth by a bipartisan group of senators can put an end to the US role in this horrific war…
The United Nations has stated that US-supported airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition are the leading cause of civilian casualties in Yemen. The ongoing war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis and wounded more than 40,000. The majority of them are civilians and, as always in war, women and children are disproportionately affected.
In addition to these mass casualties, more than half of Yemen’s hospitals have been closed or damaged. Clean water is scarce, causing upward of 500,000 cases of cholera and leaving 2,000 dead from that alone. The UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims to raise $23 billion to help 12 million affected people, has only received 39.6 percent of its target amount.
The United States has been actively facilitating this crisis by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, providing military intelligence for airstrikes led by the Saudi military, and providing refueling support, which has actually increased in the past year.
The Trump administration has also increased the sale of US weapons to Saudi Arabia, introducing a new $10 billion arms deal and lifting a ban on the sale of extremely dangerous weapons such as precision-guided munitions. Upgraded weaponry like that which the United States is supplying the Saudi-led coalition makes it easier to target civilians.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has said, “There’s a US imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen that’s caused by the Saudi bombing campaign. The Saudis simply could not operate this bombing campaign without us. Their planes can’t fly without US refueling capacity. They are dropping munitions that we’ve sold them.”
He, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced S.J.Res. 54 on Feb. 28, invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution in order to force a vote in the Senate on this unauthorized war and end US support for Saudi Arabia and its involvement in Yemen.
In the coming days, the Senate is expected to vote for the first time on withdrawing US armed forces from a war that Congress has never authorized, marking an important step forward in restoring congressional authority over war-making. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire should join this rare opportunity to protect civilians and restore congressional oversight by cosponsoring and voting in support of S.J.Res. 54.
Now is the time to end US complicity in this devastating war.
“The article expresses the writer’s opinion and not the site’s policy”