Pompeo Approves Continued Military Aid to Saudi Coalition for Yemen War

Says Saudis are taking steps to reduce harm to Yemeni civilians

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he has sent a certification to Congress affirming that the Saudi government is taking “demonstrable action” to reduce civilian casualties in Yemen. This certification allows US military aid to continue to flow to the Saudis.

In reality, there is no sign of any concrete changes in Saudi policy, and the civilian death toll is as high as ever. What Pompeo has done is allowed the administration to circumvent Congressional efforts to limit US involvement in the Saudi War.

In the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress called a halt to US funding of the Saudi-led coalition, demanding major changes to reduce civilian casualties, and saying no aid could flow until such time as it was certified that the changes were made.

Instead of actually doing that, Pompeo is signing the paperwork now, ensuring that US aid shipments won’t stop for even a moment. This does, however, ignore Congressional intentions, and is likely to fuel more efforts to try to scale back the war going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.