Get U.S. forces out of Ye­men now

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ed­i­to­rial ap­peared in the Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette:

Two new de­vel­op­ments re­lated to Ye­men, one of the poor­est coun­tries in the world, raise again in stark terms the ques­tion of why the United States con­tin­ues to par­tic­i­pate in the ef­fort led by Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates to pound that Mid­dle Eastern coun­try of 27 mil­lion into un­in­hab­it­able rub­ble.

The first of th­ese, a re­sult of years of ex­ten­sive U.S.sup­ported bomb­ing, drone at­tacks and other mil­i­tary ac­tion against one of the f ac­tions in Ye­men, is that a for­mi­da­ble level of famine is threat­en­ing the pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try, in­clud­ing an es­ti­mated 2.1 mil­lion chil­dren. Hu­man­i­tar­ian donors es­ti­mate that 12 mil­lion Ye­me­nis are al­ready suf­fer­ing from mal­nu­tri­tion. The United Na­tions gauges that $2.1 bil­lion will be needed to pre­vent a cri­sis of dy­ing Ye­me­nis.

The sec­ond de­vel­op­ment is that even the Ye­meni gov­ern­ment that the United States and Saudi Ara­bia sup­port de­cided in the wake of a dis­as­trous U.S. Spe­cial Forces at­tack in Ye­men Jan. 29 that it will agree to no fur­ther U.S. raids and other ground op­er­a­tions in Ye­men.

U.S. Spe­cial Forces as­saulted a vil­lage deep in­side Ye­men with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ap­proval. In ad­di­tion to one Amer­i­can sol­dier, a num­ber of Ye­meni civil­ians in­clud­ing women and chil­dren were killed, and the in­tel­li­gence har­vest, the al­leged ob­ject of the ex­er­cise, the to­tal of which re­mains to be re­vealed, seems to have been mea­gre. One ac­qui­si­tion which the De­part­ment of De­fense first vaunted, then backed away from, was a copy of a 10-year-old train­ing film that had al­ready been on the In­ter­net.

Here is a chance for Mr. Trump’s new na­tional se­cu­rity team to save some money and stop per­pet­u­at­ing Amer­ica’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in what are atroc­i­ties in hu­man­i­tar­ian terms by end­ing U.S. mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties in Ye­men, as its gov­ern­ment has re­quested. This could in­clude the ex­pen­sive bomb­ing which has the United States knee-deep in an in­tra-Is­lamic strug­gle be­tween Sun­nis and Shi­ites, Saudi Ara­bia and Iran. The Osprey air­craft lost in the most re­cent raid alone cost $71 mil­lion.

Let the Ye­me­nis, Saudis and Emi­ratis fight it out if they feel the need to. Amer­ica should not be in­volved.

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