This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 201 - 187 to pass H.R. 1142, a rule appended to H.R. 6784, the “Manage Our Wolves Act”. H.R. 1142 stripped H.Con.Res. 138, a war powers resolution to end US military support to the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war, of its privilege, preventing a vote on its underlying substance.
According to a report by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, US military assistance and counterterrorism policies in Yemen have destabilized the country and produced effects counter to US interests. US military aid to the Yemeni government, under both President Saleh and President Hadi, has allowed the presidents to undemocratically consolidate power through appointing family members and allies to military positions. It has also contributed to the current war in Yemen; the Houthi-Saleh alliance use weapons that the US gave to Yemen previously, and counterterrorism military aid to the government is often used to maintain the government’s fight against the Houthis. Meanwhile, counterterrorism efforts against AQAP are undermined by the continuing chaos of the war and by the government’s prioritization of the fight against the Houthis which, at times, leads to cooperation between the government and AQAP.
The American Bar Association (ABA) recently delivered a white paper authored by Vanderbilt Law professor Michael Newton to the US Senate that assesses the ways in which US arms sales and military assistance to Saudi Arabia violate existing US laws. Because of Saudi Arabia’s gross and consistent violation of the human rights standards outlined in the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, the paper recommends that arms sales cease until Saudi Arabia complies with international humanitarian law.