Biden Must Avoid Reigniting the War in Yemen

On December 18, the United States announced a military operation aimed at responding to the Houthis recent attacks on commercial ships by Yemen’s Houthis. According to David DeCamp, the United States is possibly looking at bombing Yemen and considering listing them as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

This would lead to the United States to canning the peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which would see an end to the war between the two countries. Designating them as a “foreign terrorist organization” would mean that a peace deal would be impossible.

This is not the first time the United States has shut down peace in the region. In 2019, President Donald Trump vetoed a bill that would remove United States involvement in 2019. In 2021, President Joe Biden pressured Senator Bernie Sanders to pull his war powers resolution that would have done the same as one Trump vetoed in 2019.

While the media does not talk about Yemen, the United States has been very much so involved in Yemen for the better part of 8 years.

Ever since the outbreak of war in 2014, the people of Yemen have been faced with extreme hardship. As of 2022, 370,000 civilians have lost their lives due to lack of food, medicine, water, and bombings. This included at least 85,000 children dying of starvation.

A large part of this has to do with the United States backing Saudi Arabia in its war against the Houthis. The Saudis have been committing war crimes against the population of Yemen, including ten unlawful airstrikes in 2015. Many of their crimes have been used with weapons given to them by the United States.

In 2016, Saudia Arabia dropped a bomb on a funeral ceremony in the capital city, Yanaa. The explosion killed 100 people and wounded 500 more. Many of the victims were children. Footage of the scene shows mutilated bodies all over the place in a gruesome sight.

In a worse attack, the Saudis dropped a bomb on a school bus full of Yemeni children. 40 children were killed because the explosion. Some parents were unable to recover any body parts of their dead children.

Both war crimes were committed thanks to the United States. Both bombs dropped were manufactured by the American company Lockheed Martin.

The United States also put a naval blockade surrounding the country, meaning they cannot import food or medicine. This is a big issue for the people since they are 90% dependent on food imports since the Saudis target and destroy grain silos, livestock, irrigation systems, and other aspects of food distribution.

None of this is to sit here and argue that the Houthis are morally good. In fact, they are quite the opposite. The Houthis are known for the lack of respect for freedom of expression, arresting people without just cause, public executions, and more.

The fact remains that the Houthis pose no serious threat to the United States, nor does the United States need to escalate the situation by launching their operation. Furthermore, strikes against the country are bound to provoke further resentment and lead to more civilian deaths. This is especially the case since the Houthis have killed zero American civilians.

Some like to play the Iran card to justify United States hostility towards the nation. It is true that Iran and the Houthis enjoy friendly relations. But to claim they are being backed by Iran is overblown. When the Houthis seized power in 2014, Iran told them to not do it because it would anger Saudi Arabia.

When Presidential candidate Nikki Haley was an ambassador to the United Nations, she claimed Iran was sending the Houthis rockets that were fired at Riyadh. However, the bomb she presented was a Burkan-2, which was locally fabricated. In the past, Iran had displayed Sud derivates with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, which do not match the version Haley presented, according to Scott Horton.

The United State continued to show hostility and aggression towards Yemen even though they post no serious threat to the United States or its civilians. The United States should take the opposite approach: end all involvement in the war and keep the peace deal in place.

Trenton Hale is a young libertarian writer. He is the author of two books, The Failed Idea: Why Socialism Fails in Theory and Practice, and Freedom for All: How a Libertarian Society Would Function. He regularly posts on his substack and Instagram pages. His works have been featured in institutes such as, the Mises Institute, Libertarian Institute, and Mises Magazine for the Liberty Youth Coalition.