Get U.S. forces out of Yemen now
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.