Saudi air force bombs Yemen with the help of the United States. This must end | Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna

The recent break-in of the US embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa by rebel forces and the detention of Yemeni embassy employees is the latest escalation in a war that has lasted far too long . It is a war that the United States has supported and in which it remains deeply involved. It is time for this complicity to end.

For more than six years, the Saudi-led military intervention in the Yemeni civil war on behalf of the Yemeni government-in-exile against Yemeni rebels has been a major driver of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe. “The country’s economy has reached new depths of collapse, and a third wave of the pandemic threatens to blow up the country’s already fragile health system,” UN humanitarian coordinator Martin Griffiths said in September, with millions “one step away from famine”.

Under the Obama and then Trump administration, the United States was Saudi Arabia’s partner in this horrific war. In 2019, Congress made history when it passed its first resolution on war powers by both houses of Congress, urging Donald Trump to end that support. It was the first time Congress had invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution to order the president to withdraw his troops from an undeclared war.

We were proud to lead this effort. The passage of this resolution has implications far beyond Yemen and has opened a much larger and extremely important debate about how and when the United States uses our military to wage war, and the sole constitutional authority of Congress to authorize this use.

We welcomed the Biden administration’s announcement earlier this year that it would end its support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” military operations in Yemen and appoint a special envoy to help end this conflict. . But the crisis has only continued. US defense contractors continue to maintain Saudi planes fighting this war, and the US has just announced new arms sales to the Saudis. We recognize that ending US military support for the brutal assault on Saudi Arabia will not by itself end the multidimensional conflict in Yemen. The Houthis launch bloody attacks on the central Yemeni city of Marib and launch cross-border attacks on Saudi territory. Violence also erupted between rival factions in southern Yemen. A UN group of experts has found that all parties to the conflict may have committed war crimes.

The United States may not be able to stop all the violence it helped create, but it can stop allowing Saudi warplanes to bomb Yemeni civilians. It will save lives – not only Yemenis spared from Saudi bombing, but also by using its influence to pressure Saudi Arabia to lift the blockade of Yemen, which continues to block fuel and other imports. essential in the country, pushing millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine. The lifting of the blockade must take place immediately and be dissociated from the final peace negotiations.

We have proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to finally end all US support for the Saudi war effort. The House has already adopted this amendment for the third year in a row. Since this amendment simply codifies a ban on providing support for the Saudi war that was already passed by both houses of Congress in 2019 – legislation supported at the time by several officials now in the Biden-Harris administration – It is high time that this provision was included in the final defense policy bill that is sent to the president’s office.

It is essential that we pass this amendment to restore the credibility of the United States as an arbiter of peace in Yemen. But that alone is not enough. The United States must support an international observation mission along the Saudi-Yemeni border and spearhead generous development efforts to rebuild Yemen. This assistance should focus on strengthening localized humanitarian and development initiatives such as the Yemen Social Fund for Development. We also need to dramatically increase our diplomatic engagement to pressure Saudi Arabia, the Riyadh-based government of the Republic of Yemen and the Houthis to accept the UN roadmap as the basis for a compromise that end foreign military intervention and allow Yemenis to come to an agreement. The war has lasted too long and it is time we started to take bold steps towards peace.

  • Bernie Sanders is a United States Senator and the most senior member of the Senate Budget Committee. He represents the state of Vermont.

  • Rohit Khanna is a U.S. representative from the 17th Congressional District of California

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