Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is expected to introduce a resolution in the House this week that calls for an end to US involvement in the war in Yemen. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is expected to co-sponsor the legislation, making the bill a bipartisan rebuke to the war, similar to a resolution President Trump vetoed in 2019.
In a draft of the bill obtained by Antiwar.com, the legislation invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution and calls for the president “to remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen.”
Since 2015, the US has supported Saudi Arabia and its allies in a war against Yemen’s Houthis. While US troops are not fighting on the ground against the Houthis, the support the US military gives the coalition is covered under the War Powers Resolution.
Section 8(c) of the War Powers Resolution defines the introduction of US Armed Forces to include “the assignment of members of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.”
The bill says that the “activities that the United States has conducted in support of the Saudi-led coalition fall within” the above definition. US support for the coalition includes things like training, providing spare parts for airplanes, logistical assistance, and intelligence sharing. Experts agree, if the US cuts off support for the coalition, the war in Yemen would quickly come to an end.
While President Trump vetoed previous efforts the end the war in Yemen, including bills banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the incoming administration could support the measure. Joe Biden has said that his administration will end support for the Saudi’s war in Yemen.
The US-backed Saudi-led war on Yemen has had a devastating impact on the civilian population. Since 2015, airstrikes have hit farms, fishing boats, market places, hospitals, schools, and water treatment facilities. Despite the pattern of indiscriminate bombing, the US continues to support the war. Conditions on the ground caused by the war have led to widespread disease, malnutrition, food shortages, and mass starvation.