3 Months of the Illegal War in Yemen

It has been a pointless war that the U.S. should never have waged, and it needs to end now.

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Almost three months after it began, the illegal U.S. war with the Houthis in Yemen continues. The war has failed to halt attacks on Red Sea shipping. As of last week, the U.S. and its allies have reportedly launched over four hundred strikes on targets in Yemen, but the repeated attacks on the Houthis appear to have done nothing but make them even more determined to launch more attacks of their own.

Military action was never likely to force an end to the attacks on shipping. Using force in this case was a blunder, and it has made it more difficult to resolve the situation now that the U.S. and its allies have killed dozens on the Houthi side. The U.S. and its allies have been fortunate so far not to have suffered any casualties, but their forces remain at risk on an unnecessary mission.

U.S. forces are still waging this war without proper authorization. Senators have questioned administration officials about the legal authority for this campaign, and the administration has had no good answers. It is depressing but not surprising that members of Congress cannot stir themselves to do their jobs and take responsibility in one of the clearest cases of presidential overreach that we have ever seen. The president had no authority to launch this campaign, and he has no authority to continue it almost 90 days later.

Just a few years ago, both houses of Congress pressed to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi coalition’s war on Yemen on the grounds the U.S. was engaged in hostilities without authorization. Today U.S. forces are openly striking Yemeni targets without Congressional debate or a resolution authorizing the mission, and hardly anyone in Congress says a word. Congress was right to stand up to Trump in 2019 on war powers, and Congress ought to do the same with Biden now. Congress ought to demand an end to the campaign and the withdrawal of U.S. naval forces from the area, but that is clearly beyond our feeble representatives.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “3 Months of the Illegal War in Yemen”

  1. “Three months”? With all respect due the redoubtable Mr. Larison: Was he in a Rip VanWinkle doze since well >three months ago? How much tonnage of US ordnance was dropped upon Yemen during years prior to that? Just askin’…

    1. He’s referring to the specific war taking place over the Red Sea for the last three months, not to the longer general war which had been in ceasefire for some time before this one picked up. He wrote EXTENSIVELY on that previous war, but for whatever reason is choosing to treat this one as a separate subject.

      1. Acknowledged. Nevertheless, to omit the deeper historical record from any mention here strikes me as an omission worth calling out, regardless of Larison’s past posts.

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