October 09, 2018

Sen. Warren & Rep. Khanna CNN Op-Ed: End US complicity in Yemen's humanitarian disaster

"...We can no longer turn a blind eye to the actions of the Saudi coalition -- or our own role in the suffering of the Yemeni people."

Washington, DC ­- In a joint op-ed published online by CNN, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) discussed the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the United States' role in it.  Criticizing the Trump Administration for continuing to support the Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, Sen. Warren and Rep. Khanna called on Congress to exercise its oversight authority over these military operations and end the United States' involvement in this deadly conflict.

CNN Op-Ed: End US complicity in Yemen's humanitarian disaster
By Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ro Khanna
October 8, 2018

In August, the world watched in horror as a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen claimed the lives of 40 innocent children. The boys, many under the age of 10, were killed when their school bus was bombed during a class trip. The weapon used in that deadly bombing was made in America.

It was not the first time. In June, airstrikes hit a cholera treatment center run by Doctors Without Borders, even though it was clearly identified as a medical facility.

In April, 20 civilians, many from a single family, were killed while celebrating a wedding in a village in northwest Yemen.

As a result of this conflict, at least 10,000 Yemenis have died, 2 million more are displaced, and 22 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. To make matters worse, a man-made famine has brought nearly 8 million people in Yemen to the brink of starvation.

This humanitarian catastrophe didn't happen overnight. For more than three years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has been bombing Yemen as part of a proxy war to counter the Iran-supported Houthi militias.


There is no doubt that Iran's actions in Yemen are destabilizing. Iran's government supports militias that attack Saudi territory and undermine the internationally recognized central government of Yemen. But we can no longer turn a blind eye to the actions of the Saudi coalition -- or our own role in the suffering of the Yemeni people.


The administration's decision to double down on US support for the bombing campaign makes a mockery of congressional oversight authority. Overlooking the Saudi-led coalition's apparent disregard for international norms and laws of armed conflict does nothing to improve US standing in the world. And continuing to support an ill-conceived proxy war in Yemen does not make America safer.

The framers of our Constitution believed that the decision to involve ourselves in a conflict like the one in Yemen requires the consent of the people, expressed through their elected representatives. But Congress has never authorized our involvement in this conflict. That's why we have supported bicameral, bipartisan efforts to end the US involvement in Yemen's civil war unless Congress specifically authorizes it.


The Yemeni people are suffering. Instead of supporting more bombing, the United States can help bring peace to the region. Congress has an urgent responsibility to act.

Read the full op-ed on the CNN website here.