One of the leading co-sponsors of an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen appears to be withdrawing his support.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) spoke at an American Enterprise Institute event on Thursday. When Smith took a question about his efforts to end US support for the war, he said, "There is nothing we are going to pass in Congress that’s going to stop the war in Yemen." Smith said Iran’s involvement in the war cannot be ignored and that he does not want to "cut off Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s ability to deal with Iran."
In April, President Trump vetoed a bipartisan effort to end US support for the war in Yemen. In June, Trump vetoed resolutions that would have blocked arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Experts agree that the best way to end the war in Yemen is through this amendment to the NDAA.
Rep. Smith said the legislation Congress passed has already put pressure on Saudi Arabia to limit their involvement in the war, and that they have "gotten a little better" in their efforts to limit civilian deaths. The UN found that a total of 388 civilians were killed or injured in September, airstrikes hit mosques, civilian homes, and even a UN water system.
Rep. Smith’s support is vital for the NDAA to pass with this important amendment. Activist groups are urging people to call his office:
Rep. Smith’s personal office number is: (202) 225-8901
Rep. Smith’s committee office number is: (202) 225-4151
Just Foreign Policy is circulating an email with this script for when you reach a staffer:
"I was shocked to learn that Adam Smith said he might give up on ending the Saudi war in Yemen in the NDAA. The lives of millions of people are at stake in the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. I strongly urge Rep. Smith to honor his commitment to fight for provisions in the NDAA to end U.S. participation in the war."
If you’re on Twitter, retweet this tweet from Demand Progress.
Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.