Statement: Military support for the Saudi-UAE-led intervention in Yemen’s civil war undermines U.S. interests and values

November 28, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—Following today’s U.S. Senate vote to debate S.J.Res.54, a resolution to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, Defense Priorities Senior Fellow and Defense Scholar Benjamin H. Friedman issued the following statement:

“Aiding the Saudi-UAE-led military campaign in Yemen's civil war undermines U.S. security and damages its reputation as an exemplar of liberal values.

“Because U.S. interests in Yemen are limited, Washington has the luxury to be principled. It is true that international politics is often tragic—security can sometimes demand allying with human rights abusers. But working with the Saudis in Yemen is not a “necessary evil.” It offends our interests and values without a justifying security payoff.

“America’s unauthorized involvement in Yemen, which began under the Obama administration, demonstrates a growing problem in U.S. foreign policy: Congress has abdicated its war powers, letting the White House make war unilaterally. The loss of checks and balances upsets the Constitution's design and harms policy by freeing it from the debate and compromise that democratic approval requires. The Senate vote today is a small but significant step toward Congress reclaiming its constitutional powers and pursuing a foreign policy more in with the American people’s interests rather than Washington’s.”