first published on April 17, 2019 by Will
In only the second veto of his presidency, Trump shot down a congressional resolution to end US operations as part of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” President Trump had to say about the veto.
The vetoed War Powers Resolution stated that the US Military would need explicit congressional approval to continue supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in their incursion into Yemen. The resolution had support from both democrats and republicans.
The US has been involved in operations against al Qaeda in Yemen for several years, carrying out airstrikes and conducting black ops capture kill raids. More recently, since the outbreak of the Yemen Civil War, the US has supported KSA against the Houthis rebels with noncombat technical assistance like mid air refueling of Saudi strike aircraft, blocking shipments of Iranian weapons into Yemen, and providing target package intelligence to the KSA military.
The war in Yemen has led to ghastly living conditions, making the nation a human rights nightmare. As of November 2018, 6,872 civilians had been killed and 10,768 wounded, mostly by Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes. The UN has stated that Yemen is currently the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 14 million people experiencing famine and repeated outbreaks of deadly diseases. KSA has been accused of blocking humanitarian aid from reaching those at risk.
The veto shouldn’t come as a surprise. For the US, this isn’t a war about KSA versus the Houthis. This is another proxy war against Iran and its handlers. The US just increased tension on Iran by designating it’s top military branch, the IRGC, a terror origination. It would make little sense to now ease up the pressure on Iran in Yemen.
Additionally, KSA is America’s top foreign defense industry customer, buying billions of dollars worth of military hardware. The UAE is America’s second biggest foreign defense customer, also buying billions in US weapons, and they are also part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Our economy is booming because Yemen is literally booming.